NEW YORK -- Chris Aguila still remembers the last time he was at Shea Stadium, in town for four games with the visiting Marlins. When his club dropped the first game in an otherwise unremarkable 4-0 defeat, the Mets officially clinched their first division title in 18 years. Aguila, stuck in a reserve role for the Marlins, didn't play.
"I got a nice whiff of champagne as I walked out to the bus," he said.
Now, he's back, but in a different dugout. The Mets recalled Aguila from Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday to fill their final bench spot, and perhaps to provide some added pop. With Moises Alou possibly headed back to the disabled list and Ryan Church already there, the Mets needed a quick outfield fix. Aguila provides just that.
Aguila, 29, had just completed perhaps the most productive stretch of his professional career, hitting .528 with seven home runs over nine games. Overall, he was hitting .308 for the Zephyrs, with 17 homers and 40 RBIs in 221 at-bats.
In parts of three seasons with the Marlins, most recently in 2006, Aguila hit .234 with three home runs. He never elevated his status to much more than a pinch-hitter, though this most recent power binge earned him what he called a "surprise" promotion.
"I wouldn't look at myself as a big home run guy," Aguila said. "I was swinging the bat pretty good, and happened to hit some home runs. But I wasn't out there trying to do that. It just kind of happened."
The Mets designated infielder Abraham Nunez for assignment after Tuesday's game to make room for Aguila. Nunez went hitless in two at-bats for the Mets.
Aguila bounced from the Marlins to the Pirates following his 2006 season, though he could not crack the Majors for a fourth straight year. Then, last winter, he filed for Minor League free agency and landed with the Mets. He's been in New Orleans since, playing mainly left field, but capable of manning any outfield spot.
"This is what you play for," Aguila said. "This is where everyone wants to be who's in Triple-A. Obviously, I'm happy to be here."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.