El Duque Isn’t Close To Returning- No Surprise

MIAMI - APRIL 18: Pitcher Orlando Hernandez #2...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I haven’t heard a word about Orlando Hernandez in quite some time. A couple of weeks ago he left a rehab game with Binghamton because of pain in his right foot. The same foot that’s been bothering him since last season because of a bunion.

Adam Rubin of the Daily News reports that Mets vice president Tony Bernazard told him that El Duque isn’t close to returning. He hasn’t pitched off a mound since leaving the game with Binghamton. They’re waiting for a special shoe to be built for El Duque.

It’s August already, so I’m not counting on getting anything out of El Duque this season. Fortunately, it’s the last season of his contract with the Mets. So he’ll be gone next year and the $6 million that he’s making can be put into a productive player.

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Mets Injury News- El Duque, Pagan, Nixon

The Mets injury list is a deep one and is certainly casting shadows over the Mets needs at the non-waiver trading deadline. Here’s the latest:

  • El Duque- Another setback with his right foot. After leaving the game in Binghamton after one inning because of discomfort in his foot, he visited a doctor in New York about the problem again. The Mets will have a shoe specially made for him and orthotics to try to relieve the pain he’s experiencing.
  • Angel Pagan- It  looks like he’s done for the year with a torn labrum in his shoulder. He’s going for a second opinion but the initial diagnosis is that he needs season ending shoulder surgery.
  • Trot Nixon- Unconfirmed reports that he’s done for the season due to a hernia operation.

With Pagan and Nixon possibly out for the year, and Ryan Church a serious question mark, the Mets will probably need to jump into the corner outfield market before the trading deadline. I would assume that they would go with a B-level player as opposed to emptying the top prospects for a Jason Bay or Xavier Nady type of player.

Mets Injury Updates: Pedro, Pagan, El Duque, Church

It’s a good thing that the Mets are playing so well right now because the injury news isn’t very good.

  • El Duque- He left his start in Binghamton after one inning because of some pain in his foot. It’s the same foot that’s been bothering him because of a bunion and toe ligament problem.
  • Angel Pagan- He had pain in his left shoulder during a game in Brooklyn. That’s the shoulder that he injured in May in Los Angeles.
  • Pedro Martinez- He got a cortisone shot in his hip and will have his next start pushed back. Mike Pelfrey will move up to take his start. So Pedro should start on Tuesday.
  • Ryan Church- He wants to come off the disabled list on Tuesday when he’s eligible. But Jerry Manuel told reporters that the team will be cautious and Church probably won’t be back that quickly.

Mets News- El Duque

Orlando Hernandez is rehabbing in Port St. Lucie and plans to make two more starts before re-joining the Mets. He hasn’t pitched at all this season with toe and bunion problems. At this point, he won’t be able to crack the Mets starting rotation so he’ll be working out of the bullpen when he gets back in about two weeks.

El Duque Pitches Rehab Game

New York Mets pitcher Orlando Hernández before...Image via Wikipedia

Orlando Hernandez began his rehab games today according the NY Post Mets Blog. He hasn’t pitched this season because of a bunion and a ligament problem in a toe.

Today he went four innings on 62 pitches giving up two runs (one earned). Hernandez gave up four hits and a walk to go along with six strikeouts.

After he left the game El Duque went to the bullpen and threw 15 more pitches.

What a shot in the arm it would be to get El Duque back! It seems to be so long since we’ve seen him pitch that I went back to look at his 2007 season stats. He started 24 games and pitched in relief in 3 more. He was 9-5 with a 3.72 ERA.

The only problem when (if, I should say) he comes back is which pitcher goes off the roster. Joe Smith and Mike Pelfrey are the only pitchers with options and Pelfrey isn’t going anywhere. The likely choice to be designated for assignment would be Tony Armas. He’s the last man in, so he’ll probably be the first one out. Not that he’s pitched that badly but he could be replaced by El Duque as the long man/spot starter rather easily.

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Mets In The News: Beltran, Reyes, El Duque, And More

This image is a candidate for speedy deletion....Image via Wikipedia

As the Mets prepare to face the Phillies today at 1:35pm, there are several stories circulating the newswire:

  • Mets manager Jerry Manuel told the press that he’s thinking of moving Carlos Beltran to second in the batting order so he sees more fastballs. I’m in complete agreement. Even moving him to third would be better.
  • El Duque is going to start his rehab work in Port St. Lucie this week.
  • Moises Alou is working out in NYC now. He’s expected to play a few rehab games with Brooklyn or Binghamton before returning to the Mets from his calf strain injury.
  • John Maine feels fine after experiencing cramping in his left forearm last night. He’ll be doing his regular workouts between starts.
  • A fan has filed notice to the City of New York that he intends to sue for $5.5 million after being hit in the face last August by a piece of Luis Castillo’s bat that shattered.
  • David Wright will not participate in the All-Star game home run derby.
  • Mike Lupica writes at the Daily News that Jose Reyes is the best shortstop in New York this season and gets picked on too much for the things he does on the field.
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Mets In The News July 2- Pedro, Kazmir, And More

There are several Mets related news items today coming off the rare offensive outburst in St. Louis last night. Tony Armas sure wasn’t fooling many Cardinals and doesn’t have the velocity to instill much confidence in the Mets’ fan base that he can capture a permanent spot in the Mets rotation. But he did a nice job for one start. I think he was more lucky than good.

Onto the news for Wednesday July 2:

  • Even though I dislike Newsday’s Ken Davidoff columns generally, he has a good point today about the Mets. He writes that the Mets shouldn’t give up on the 2008 season. I’ve heard the sentiment from Mets fans to start breaking down the team and prepare for next year. I couldn’t disagree more.
  • Christina Kahrl has an extremely well written column for the New York Sun. She contrasts the Atlanta Braves ability to make a deal for a veteran rental with the Mets. She writes that the Mets farm system doesn’t give the Mets much flexibility to bring in non-waiver deadline deals that will impact the 2008 season. By the way, if you don’t read the sports writers at the New York Sun, you’re missing out. Their writers are without equal when it comes to covering the Mets in longer form columns.
  • AP put out a story picked up by just about every sports news outlet that Jerry Manuel is keeping Pedro Martinez on his regular rest today and giving Mike Pelfrey an extra day between starts.
  • Ben Shipgel of the NY Times has a couple of nuggets in his column about the Mets seducing fans into believing that the “turnaround” is beginning after games like last night in St. Louis. Perhaps the biggest news is that Orlando Hernandez is about a week away from making his first rehab start and may re-join the Mets by the end of July.
  • The NY Post Mets Blog has some interesting information about Pedro Martinez. Pitching coach Dan Warthen says that he thinks that Pedro looks terrific right now and resolved his problem of tipping pitches with the help of the Mets hitters. And Jerry Manuel isn’t babying Pedro like Willie Randolph did. Manuel is pushing Pedro harder and says that he’ll go easy on him after “three or four shutouts”.
  • Adam Rubin at the Daily News has several interesting topics today. Moises Alou went 2 for 3 with a homer and 2 RBI’s in his rehab game last night. Jerry Manuel is trying to get Jose Reyes to be more prepared in the field. Willie Randolph will skip the All-Star game this year. Jerry Manuel continues his tweaking of Luis Castillo in the media.
  • David Lennon of Newsday has a good column on Carlos Delgado’s statistics when hitting at night versus day games. He’s a much better hitter during the day. And Delgado didn’t know about the difference when it was brought up to him. Delgado actually said that he likes hitting at night better because there aren’t shadows to contend with.
  • Roger Rubin of the Daily News talks about Scott Kazmir’s shock and sadness when he found out that he was traded by the Mets to the Rays. Now he’s thrilled to be in first place and hoping for post season baseball in Tampa.