Mets' roster sprinkled with former Padres

Mets' roster sprinkled with former Padres

Mets' roster sprinkled with former Padres
NEW YORK -- There are several familiar faces in the Mets' dugout this weekend, as four former Padres are on New York's active roster: catcher Rob Johnson, outfielders Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter and right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hefner.

All but Hefner played at the Major League level with the Padres at some point. Hefner, who started on Thursday, spent five seasons in San Diego's Minor League system.

Baxter has considerable history with many players on the Padres' roster. He was drafted by the team in 2003 out of Vanderbilt. He spent parts of six seasons in the Minor Leagues before getting eight at-bats with the team in 2010. He got his first Major League hit that season.

Baxter, 27, has found a home with the Mets, which is fitting, since the home where he grew up in Queens is no more than two miles from Citi Field.

Baxter was claimed off waivers from the Padres on July 22, 2011. Last season, he hit .235 in 22 games. He's played much more this season, hitting .352 in 54 at-bats and taking to the job as a pinch-hitter.

Baxter made a nice catch in the first inning of Friday's 6-1 loss to the Mets on a Jesus Guzman fly ball to left, as he corralled the ball before it landed up against the fence. He then completed a double play when the Mets were able to double-up Yonder Alonso at first base.

"He's a fundamentally sound player," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Our Minor League people taught him well. He's a bright kid. I think it's cool when a guy comes back to play in his hometown. And this is literally in his backyard."