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.
Moises Alou is planning to play some rehab games with Port St. Lucie this week and re-join the Mets in Philly. The Port St. Lucie game was rained out today though. Alou is rehabbing from a left calf muscle injury.
We haven’t heard much about Angel Pagan recently. Jerry Manuel told reporters before tonight’s game that Pagan is deciding whether to have shoulder surgery. He hasn’t been able to recover from the injury he suffered about six weeks ago against the Dodgers. He made an outstanding catch in left field but went over the wall into the seats while making the catch.
Prior to the game today Jerry Manuel told reporters that Ryan Church should be ready to be activated from the disabled list prior to the game against the Yankees tomorrow. He also said that Moises Alou is targeting a return to the active roster next weekend in Philadelphia.
Manuel also talked about how the double header yesterday forces the Mets to seek outside help for a starting pitcher on Tuesday. Most likely Tony Armas, Jr. will be called up from Triple-A New Orleans. But Manuel left the door open for Omar Minaya to acquire a starter from outside of the Mets organization. Armas has pitched very well for the New Orleans Zephyrs this season going 5-6 with a 2.50 ERA in 16 starts.
There aren’t that many starters on the street that I can think of. There’s David Wells and Jeff Weaver out there, but I think Armas would be a better option. Wells hasn’t pitched all season and Weaver was released byt the Brewers after getting bombed in Triple-A Nashville. He made nine starts and went 2-4 with a 6.22 ERA.
The Mets have been an inconsistent, troubled team for much of the 2008 season. The next two weeks give the Mets an opportunity to show what the rest of their season will look like. There are series against the Cardinals and Phillies on the road, and the Giants and Rockies at home. It seems like they’ve been playing the Rockies way too much already…
The Cardinals are currently in the National League lead for the wild card and the Phillies lead the NL East. That’s an opportunity and a challenge.
The Giants and Rockies give the Mets a chance to stomp on some weak West division teams that have been out of the race this season.
To do that the Mets need a lot more than they’ve gotten from Oliver Perez. His 5-5 record and 5.29 ERA just isn’t getting it done. He’s always been maddeningly inconsistent but it’s been taken to new heights this season.
The injuries to Ryan Church and Moises Alou have obliterated the Mets plans for their regular outfield. Alou is a walking injury so that wasn’t completely unexpected but Church was the team’s MVP for the first two months of the season. Before going on the disabled list he was hitting .300/ .365/ /.522 with 10 homers and 35 RBI’s.
If the corner outfield positions can be solidified and Perez’ spot in the rotation becomes more consistent, the Mets will be a contender this season.
There’s plenty in the news today as the Mets come home to face the dreadful Seattle Mariners.
- Jerry Manuel says that he has to prepare to go the rest of the season without Moises Alou.
- Luis Castillo won’t play again tonight after aggravating the quadriceps injury he suffered earlier this season.
- Brian Schneider will probably get a couple more days off after bruising a finger on his glove hand in Colorado.
- Ryan Church plans to take batting practice with the Mets tonight and play a couple of games this week in Brooklyn. The plan is for him to return to the big league team for the Yankees series this weekend.
- Goose Gossage says that the Mets didn’t treat Willie Randolph fairly.
- The Mets seem to have a new trend with pitchers staying on the mound to hand the ball to the incoming pitcher. Manuel said he thought it would be a one-time thing with John Maine until Pedro Martinez did it on Saturday. Now they’re all doing it.
- Jerry Manuel joked about Mets fans booing Aaron Heilman at Shea Stadium to fertilizer.
- John Harper of the Daily News writes that the Mets are in good hands with Manuel. He even addressed the perception of a racial divide with the team.
- Adam Rubin of the Daily News writes that Manuel’s comment about fertilizer was made in reference to Aaron Heilman using the fans booing him at Shea as a source of growth, not calling Mets fans “manure” as the NY Post reported.
Several media outlets have reported on the health of New York Mets outfielders Moises Alou and Ryan Church. New manager Jerry Manuel spoke to the media from Colorado about both players. Here’s the summary version:
- Alou- He probably won’t be back anytime soon. His left calf muscle is still giving him some pain, and he’s only been doing some light jogging.
- Church- He’s feeling much better from the effects of his second concussion this season. He’s been working out and will most likely play a game or two with the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones as he prepares to return to the Mets.
Moises Alou lasted one game in left field before going back on the disabled list with a strained calf muscle. Robinson Cancel was recalled to from Triple-A New Orleans to replace him on the roster.
I still can’t understand why they’re going with three catchers. The only way this makes sense is if they use Ramon Castro as a pinch hitter to take advantage of the offense he brings to the table. But they haven’t been doing that.