Brooklyn truly became the “Borough of Church’s” when rehabbing Met star Ryan Church joined the Cyclones on June 26 and 27.
Church was batting .300 with 10 homers for the Mets, but was placed on the disabled list earlier in June after suffering the after-effects on two concussions.
Trying to ease him back onto the playing field, the Mets decided a rehab stint at nearby Brooklyn was the best way for Church to come back from the injury.
“I just hope I don’t butcher any flyballs hit to me out there,” said Church, half-in-jest, before the June 26 game.
The Mets’ right fielder had no balls, fly or otherwise, hit at him during the Cyclones 4–2 victory over Aberdeen, but he more than made up for his fielding inactivity by going 3-for-3 at the plate before being removed for a pinch runner in the fifth.
Here’s how his night went:
• He singled in the first, but was stranded.
• In the third, Church hit a double down the right-field line to drive in John Servidio with the Cyclones’ first run. He later scored on a single by Eric Campbell.
• He capped off his perfect night at the plate by singling in the fifth.
“I felt good — no effects from the concussion,” he said after the game.
He was asked whether his concussions would make him more cautious when he returned to the Mets.
“Well, I won’t be running into any more second basemen,” he noted, laughing at the cause of his latest brain boo-boo. “But I will still play aggressively, no matter what. That’s what got me to the majors and that’s the way I’ll continue to perform.”
As for his hitting, Church seemed pleased with his first night as a Cyclone.
“This [3-for-3] should raise my minor league lifetime average,’” he said, jokingly referring to his career in the New York–Penn League, where he spent 2000 as a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, hitting .298.
Alas, the next night, Church came back down to earth, going 0-for-3 in a seven-inning appearance as the Cyclones beat Aberdeen 4–3. He did handle two fly balls and a grounder smoothly. Two days later he was back with the Mets — but not before leaving with some parting advice to his Class-A teammates.
“Always play all out, every day,” he said. “That’s what helped me to reach the majors.”