Nov 20

Murphy update ….

MURPHY: Has strained hammy.

MURPHY: Has strained hammy.

Daniel Murphy’s MRI today revealed a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring. Murphy initially felt discomfort in his leg during batting practice Nov. 11. The Mets say he would skip winter league ball in Puerto Rico and will be ready for spring training.

it is expected Murphy will compete for the left field job this spring, perhaps enter a platoon with Fernando Tatis.

Nov 20

On the Table: What is Heilman’s future with Mets?

HEILMAN: Where should he pitch?

HEILMAN: Where should he pitch?

We’ve had this conversation before about Aaron Heilman and we’re having it again because he brought it up. Heilman’s agent, Mark Rodgers, said the pitcher wants out of the bullpen, and if not, then out of New York.

“The object the entire time has never been to get out of New York,” Rodgers told The Daily News. “The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he’s ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher.”

Currently, the Mets, who have contractual control, favor the status quo while they shop for a starter. Heilman made made 25 starts from 2003 to 2005, going 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA, but was moved to the pen in the spring of 2006 when Brian Bannister – since traded – won a spot in the rotation. Heilman was 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA and five blown saves.

The Mets are attributing much of Heilman’s bad year to a knee problem, which if healed by rest, would make trading him a hasty decision.

Well, what to do?

-Should they trade him and risk him healing and being productive elsewhere?

-Should they give him a chance to compete in spring training for the fifth starter role, with the understanding he’ll go back to the pen if he doesn’t earn the job?

-Should they tell him to shut up and pitch in the pen, knowing he’s gone once he becomes a free agent?

Nov 19

Should they say goodbye to Ollie?

PEREZ: Should the Mets let him walk away?

PEREZ: Should the Mets let him walk away?

There are some of you who think I don’t care for Oliver Perez. Not true. I like the guy. I just don’t like watching him pitch on the days when Coin Flip lands on tails.

That said, he’s 27, lefthanded, and can throw the hell out of the ball. He made some progress this year with a modified delivery. Those days when he’s on, well, he’s pretty special to watch and worth keeping.

On those other days, well ….

The Mets say they’d like him back, but with a commitment toward going after Lowe and possibly setting up  Niese in the fifth spot, where does that leave Perez? Obviously, they aren’t optimistic.

I know he wants five years, and from $12 million to $15 million has been speculated. That’s a lot for somebody with great stuff but mediocre numbers.

So, should they cut their ties with OP or try to keep him.

Nov 18

On the Table: One more year for Pedro?

MARTINEZ: Wants one more year with Mets.

MARTINEZ: Wants one more year with Mets.

Bringing back Pedro Martinez for a year was a topic last night in Mets Chat Room, and his agent, Fern Cuza, said the future Hall of Famer wants another season with the Mets.

No surprise there.

“I can still pitch,’’ Martinez told me the morning of the season finale. “This hasn’t been a normal year for me.’’

With injuries and time off because of the death of his father, Martinez started and stopped several times last season. He was never in cync.

Assuming his health, where would Martinez fit?

Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine are ahead of him. Jon Niese will compete for the fifth spot, and the fourth spot in the rotation is uncertain. The Mets are looking at Derek Lowe and bringing back Oliver Perez for the fourth spot.

Martinez is no more than a fifth starter these days. He went at least six innings in half his 20 starts, and only twice pitched seven innings.

If healthy, perhaps he would have won 10 games instead of five. Who can say? Should the Mets give Martinez one more year or roll the dice with Niese?