Chris Schwinden's Not-So-Excellent Adventure

Denver, CO, USA; New York Mets pitcher Chris Schwinden delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Schwinden started 2012 with the Mets organization. He is now back in the Mets organization after a dizzyingly-fast tour of several other teams' Triple-A franchises.

News item:

The #Mets have claimed RHP Chris Schwinden off waivers from the Yankees and optioned him to Buffalo (AAA).

Normally, a minor-league waiver claim wouldn't be worth much of a mention here at Baseball Nation. This particular roster move, however, completes a dizzying 35-day odyssey in which Schwinden was waived by four different teams, only to wind up where he started:

June 2: waived by Mets, claimed by Blue Jays
June 6: waived by Blue Jays, claimed by Indians
June 29: waived by Indians, claimed by Yankees
July 5: waived by Yankees, claimed by Mets

During this time, he did not pitch in the major leagues for any of the three teams that claimed him; instead, he went on a journey through Triple-A, starting one game for Las Vegas (Blue Jays), allowing eight runs (seven earned) in three innings. Heading on to the Indians organization, he went almost all the way across the USA to start three games for the Columbus Clippers, posting a 5.87 ERA and 1.435 WHIP. Finally, the Yankees assigned him to their Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster and he made one start for them, allowing four runs (three earned) in four innings.

And the joke was on Schwinden, because the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees don't have a home field this year -- while their stadium in Scranton is being rebuilt, the team has been unofficially dubbed the Empire State Yankees and playing most of their home games in six different stadiums in upstate New York (fittingly, the game Schwinden started for them wasn't even at one of those locations -- it was a road game at Rochester).

At least Rochester is close to Buffalo, where Schwinden is... returning, having already started nine games for them before his grand tour of Triple-A began. He had been successful there, posting a 2.59 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He also pitched in three games for the parent Mets (two starts), with a ghastly-looking 12.46 ERA.

Schwinden, a 22nd-round pick of the Mets in the 2008 draft, must have some talent, or all these teams wouldn't be taking a chance on him. Or perhaps not, which is why they give up so quickly. He's 25, and the Mets have bullpen issues, so maybe he'll get another shot to show what he's got at Citi Field.

Or maybe not. If nothing else, he should be piling up the frequent-flyer miles.

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