Cecchini on first callup: 'It's a dream right now'
No. 3 prospect joins Mets after career year with Triple-A Las Vegas
By Cody Pace
CINCINNATI -- When Mets shortstop Gavin Cecchini found out he'd be getting his first Major League promotion when the season ended for Triple-A Las Vegas, he had to keep it a secret.
"[51s manager] Wally [Backman] called me into his office, and it was the last day, and he just told me, 'Hey, you're going up to the big leagues, but you can't say anything to anyone, not even your parents,'" Cecchini said. "It was kind of hard to keep that a secret."
Cecchini was able to keep it quiet as he went 2-for-4 with a stolen base in his last Triple-A game Monday, and then he got ready to board a flight for Cincinnati. He arrived at Great American Ball Park less than three hours before game time.
"It's something that I dreamed of my whole life and as a kid coming up, obviously you want to play in the big leagues," Cecchini said. "It's a dream right now."
The callup comes on the back end of a career year for Cecchini in the Minors. He posted his second straight .300 season, batting .325 with a career-high .838 OPS.
While Cecchini is one of the Mets' more coveted prospects, rated No. 3 by MLBPipeline.com, he won't be guaranteed any playing time. Cecchini does have three games under his belt at second base this year in Las Vegas, which could come in handy with Neil Walker on the 60-day disabled list after having back surgery. However, manager Terry Collins said that Cecchini won't be slotted into that spot.
"I wouldn't worry about that," Collins said. "Right now, Wilmer Flores is going to play second base."
Even so, Cecchini is just grateful to be in the Majors. When Las Vegas' season ended, he was supposed to take some time to get prepared to head to Arizona and play in the Arizona Fall League in October. But when Walker went down, it created an available 40-man roster spot for Cecchini.
"I was supposed to be going to the Fall League," Cecchini said. "I was like, 'OK, obviously it's probably not in the mix of going to the big leagues,' so that was another reason why when Neil got hurt I didn't think anything of it. There's a lot of things that can happen in this game in a snap of a finger, and you've always got to be ready and stay ready because you never know whenever that call is going to be."
So instead, he'll get an opportunity to learn in limited doses at the Major League level, giving some veterans the occasional day off and serving as an option to pinch-run and pinch-hit.
That's a role that he relishes. "The only thing I can do is just be ready whenever my name's called," Cecchini said. "It's just be ready to help the team win. I don't know, I haven't even went in to [Collins'] office and told him that I'm here, I haven't even talked to him. All I know is that I'm going to be prepared and ready to help this team whichever way I can."
Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.