Billy Hamilton had a wild first day with Mets: ‘Criminal Minds’

WASHINGTON — Billy Hamilton’s first day on the Mets roster was eventful off the field.

After his flight to northern Virginia from New York was canceled, the veteran outfielder was offered a train ticket that would still get him into town for Tuesday night’s game.

“I told them I watch too much ‘Criminal Minds’ for the train,” said Hamilton, who ultimately settled on a car service that got him to Nationals Park in plenty of time.

Hamilton, 29, was acquired last weekend in a trade with the Giants for pitcher Jordan Humphreys. He missed most of summer camp for an undisclosed medical reason, but had been working out at the Mets’ alternate camp in Brooklyn in recent days.

“My legs are back under me and I feel great,” said Hamilton, who has stolen 299 bases over seven major league seasons. “You sit out for a couple of weeks like that, it’s tough to get right back in the groove of things.”

Billy Hamilton
Billy HamiltonAP

Hamilton will mostly provide the Mets with a late-inning glove in center field and pinch-running option.

“They told me to be ready for anything,” Hamilton said.

Jared Hughes’ two innings of scoreless relief to close Monday’s game — in his Mets debut — was appreciated by manager Luis Rojas, who compared it to Franklyn Kilome’s extended role on Saturday. Kilome pitched four innings in relief in his major league debut, allowing two runs.

“[Hughes] gave us a lot we needed, two innings and to give an extra day to a lot of guys in the bullpen, knowing this guy is a veteran,” Rojas said. “He’s going to come and challenge you, and with his stuff and using whatever pitch he wants in his repertoire, no matter the count, that confidence was shown out there [Monday].”

Robert Gsellman and Brad Brach are both continuing to build up as possible bullpen additions. Gsellman, who is returning from a triceps strain, is probably the closest of the two, according to Rojas, as he prepares to face batters. Brach, who missed camp after testing positive for the coronavirus, continues to throw side sessions.

The Mets flew from Atlanta just ahead of tropical storm Isiasis, enduring a rough ride before landing in northern Virginia around 3 a.m.

“It was bumpy,” Rojas said. “I was looking around, I saw a few people kind of holding on to their seats.”