May 06

Pagan still ailing; out indefinitely.

They wouldn’t be the Mets without a bit of bad news.

PAGAN: Still hurting. No timetable on return.

Angel Pagan was supposed to be activated tomorrow, but is reporting pain in his left oblique muscle and returned to New York today to be examined. The team said he’ll be out indefinitely.

“Knowing we were hoping that he would be here tomorrow, he just felt that he wasn’t ready for that,’’ Mets manager Terry Collins said today.

Pagan went on the DL, April 22, with a strained left oblique.

Jason Pridie has been playing centerfield, and has done well defensively, but does not pose the offensive threat of Pagan. The Mets’ offense has been stagnant all season, and Pagan has not lived up to the expectations after his break out year in 2010.

Pagan started the season batting second behind Jose Reyes, and the Mets have unsuccessfully used several players to fill that void.


May 06

Mets’ lineup: May 6 vs. Dodgers.

Here’s tonight’s lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B

Jason Pridie, CF

Josh Thole, C

Jon Niese, LP

COMMENTS: Thole back in the lineup as promised. … Wright still batting third, and that doesn’t figure to change. … Beltran is hot and keeps on playing.


May 06

New poll: No real surprises so far; expect more change.

Thirty-one games into the season and the Mets are 13-18, 8 ½ games behind Philadelphia. Only four teams in the majors have a worse record; only three have fewer home victories than the six scratched out by the Mets.

REYES: Flying away with a bunch of others.

About right? Could be worse? Should be better? Post your thoughts and vote in the new poll.

The Dodgers are in for three this weekend starting tonight, and the remainder of the month features three games each against Colorado, Yankees and Cubs on the road, and three at home against Philadelphia.

There’s potential for things to fall further apart before June. They could easily be double-digits behind the Phillies by the time they come in at the end of the month.

Are you surprised by any of this?

If I had been given five games below .500 at this point were it offered in spring training, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have taken it considering the questions the Mets faced.

Things have unfolded close to expectations when you look at the pitching questions; Jason Bay’s injury; the hole at second base; and concerns surrounding the health of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.

Realistically, the Mets are about where they should be with their deficiencies. Going in we were told this season would be about making evaluations in preparation for the building that would begin in 2012.

Things would change once they cleared the deadwood off the books.

When I scan the Mets’ depth chart, it isn’t hard to envision up to a dozen new names next spring with the following gone: Reyes, Beltran, Ronny Paulino, Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Isringhausen (at his age it wouldn’t be a surprise), Ryota Igarashi, Tim Byrdak, Chin-lung Hu (he could be gone when Angel Pagan returns this weekend), Willie Harris and Scott Hairston.

That’s half the team.

Some, like Beltran, Rodriguez and Reyes could go based on financial considerations, while others like Isringhausen, Young, Capuano, Harris and Hairston could leave because of age and other options. Still others would go because of talent.

Several of these players could help contenders at the trade deadline.

This was to be the year of change, and there’s a lot that could still happen. If it does and the Mets are still five games under at the end of the season, that should be looked at as a plus.


May 06

Bay needs to produce – and now.

BAY: He can't be smiling now.

I am not a big stats guy. They can be telling, but also misleading. With some numbers, you can twist them into meaning anything you want.

That’s not the case with Jason Bay, whose numbers have been fundamentally telling and just plain bad. He  hit six homers with 47 RBI while batting .259 last season. I am aware of the injuries and having a slow start, but he had enough of a window – 401 plate appearances over 95 games – to understand that’s terrible.

An  injury this spring  has limited him to 11 games and 48 plate appearances, but has only .256, with one homer and three RBI to show for it. Not a great window, but one that says it can’t go on like this much longer.

Of all his numbers, his 14-5 strikeouts-to-walks ratio is most telling. There’s not much plate presence.

Continue reading

May 05

Big Pelf or Big Poof?

Just because Mike Pelfrey is feeling better doesn’t mean he will pitch better. There’s been very little about Pelfrey this season that suggests he’ll come up with a big performance today against the San Francisco Giants.

PELFREY: We've seen Pelfrey doing a lot of head scratching this season.

Pelfrey has been a disappointment after taking a positive step forward last summer. In his last start at Philadelphia, he pitched after losing 11 pounds because of the flu and never should have been out there.

But, he hasn’t been sick all spring. Pelfrey is laboring too much on the mound with command and pitch selection. He isn’t working quickly, which is what he did last year when he was effective. Instead, he’s back to being deliberate, which smacks of indecisiveness and a withering confidence.

Pelfrey has failed to go five in three of six starts. He’s walking too many hitters and doesn’t have the command of his sinker, regardless of the count.

Pelfrey has minor league options remaining, and with another poor start this afternoon, there could be discussions about whether he needs to take time for some fixing in the minors.