Mets News Top Stories- April 8, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 08:  Ryan Church #19 of the N...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Mets endured one of the dreaded road days off yesterday in Cincinnati. If you’ve ever been there you know that its not one of the most exciting cities in the United States. The reports were that the most entertaining thing that the Mets could find to do yesterday was go to the movies. Apparently, the city is so boring that they decided to do a double feature and kill the whole day at the movies. If that’s not an indictment of a boring city, I don’t know what is. The Mets chance to enjoy the entertaining city of Cincinnati comes to an end today when they go back to work against the Reds.

Onto today’s top stories:

The Sporting News is reporting that Bronson Arroyo will start for the Reds against the Mets tomorrow. He’s been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome but he had a cortisone shot and is feeling good enough to pitch. Micah Owings was going to take his place in the Reds rotation.

Ben Shipgel of The New York Times recounts the whole Ryan Church concussion saga from last season. He talks about how the Gary Sheffield signing will impact Church’s playing time.  Shipgel says he can’t understand why the Mets are pushing Church so hard this season. It’s simple… They expect more from him than what they’re getting. The Mets think Church is capable of doing more than he’s shown.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post talks about the Mets bullpen and how Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church both played well on Monday. The Sheffield signing could push both of them to step up their games or lose playing time.

Saturday’s game against the Marlins won’t be televised for the first hour of the game. It’s scheduled to start at 6:10 pm because there’s a concert by rap star Flo Rida after the game. SNY is scheduled to broadcast the game but Fox has exclusive rights on Saturday’s until 7:05 pm.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated writes another column about how Mike Pelfrey and other young pitchers are at risk of injury or regression in performance because of their increased innings pitched at a young age. At this point, Verducci is pretty much making a living off of this theory of his that most major league teams don’t subscribe to. I’m not saying that Verducci is wrong about this. But he needs to find another topic to write about. He’s beating a dead horse now. We all know about his grand theory about young pitchers. Move on now Tom.

Verducci: 2009 Mets Have Several Key Questions

SI’s Tom Verducci addressed the Mets in his “Spring Training Post Cards” series today. I really like Verducci and he nailed the Mets first couple of weeks of spring training perfectly. Here’s a quick summary of the issues he addressed:

  1. Jerry Manuel has brought a looser feel to the team this season than Willie Randolph had in the past.
  2. Jose Reyes batting third is an interesting experiment and meant to push Luis Castillo, not Reyes. He suggests that Castillo may be best served batting ninth in the order.
  3. The Mets outfielders don’t have a lot of high-ceiling guys. And they don’t know what to expect out of Ryan Church after he couldn’t get it together after his second concussion.
  4. Livan Hernandez could really help the Mets if he can get about 15 starts in this season.
  5. The daily roller coaster of Johan Santana’s health is hanging over the team like a cloud right now.

I’m surprised that he didn’t mention Carlos Beltran in his discussion of the Mets outfielders. Beltran gives the Mets a lot of flexibility to play guys that don’t have outfield experience. He covers a ton of ground in the outfield and leads the other players positioning.

I’m also surprised that he didn’t mention what a bust that Freddy Garcia is turning out to be. Livan Hernandez is fine, but the Mets need to find someone that solidify the number five spot in the rotation.

Johan Santana May Win 30 Games

After watching Santana pitch against the Florida Marlins on opening day last week, one A.L. executive told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci:

“Santana’s going to win 30 games in that league. Mark it down. Who’s going to hit him with those lineups? In that league he might win 30 and strike out 300. I’m not kidding.”

Verducci put the over/under on Santana’s wins this year at 21. I’ll take the over. If he gets 35 starts in this season, I think that he could win 22 or 23. As the column states, Bob Welch won 27 games in 1990. He was the last pitcher to win over 25.