Jun 25

Jerry waffles on Beltran

MANUEL: Looks indecisive.

Carlos Beltran said he felt better than expected after last night’s Single-A rehab game in Port St. Lucie. Beltran also said he would like to play in the Marlins series next week in Puerto Rico.

Manager Jerry Manuel waffled on the subject, first intimating it was possible then saying it was unlikely. What he didn’t do was what he should have done, and slammed the door on the issue.

“No, he’s not playing,’’ Manuel should have said. “I can appreciate him wanting to, but we have a plan for him and that would be rushing it.’’

There, now it is a closed case.

Manuel waffles all the time on a variety of issues, many of them injury related. It makes him come across as unsure and uninformed.

The last thing the Mets need is a setback with Beltran, and that’s exactly what could happen if they rush him. Why is that so hard to understand? Why can’t he just say it.

Jun 24

Mets Chat Room: Pagan sits vs. Tigers.

Game #72 vs. Tigers

The Mets will be going for the sweep tonight against Detroit without, as expected, without center fielder Angel Pagan, who is sidelined with a muscle spasm in his right side.

Jesus Feliciano will start in center.

Pagan left last night’s game in the seventh inning, and typically Jerry Manuel rests a player the day after taking him out of a game with an injury.

Manuel said Pagan could be able to play tomorrow night against Minnesota.

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Jun 24

Counting on Bay

Maybe it is the park. Maybe he’s under pressure to perform in New York. Maybe it is the contract. Maybe it is all of those things, or none of them.

But, either way, Jason Bay is on pace to hit nine home runs this season.

I can’t complain too much because after a sluggish start the Mets are winning, and Bay’s average is rising and he never stops hustling.

You know, all this talk about it would be like making a trade when Carlos Beltran returns. Well, the same could be said about Bay if he started to hit with consistent power.

Jun 23

Mets Chat Room: Dickey goes for club record.

Game #71 vs. Tigers

When things looked bleak for the Mets about a month ago, with three of their starters out of the rotation, the Mets brought up knuckleballer R.A. Dickey from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start.

He hasn’t left the rotation since, and it’s not hard to imagine where the Mets would be without in 5-0 record and 2.82 ERA.

Tonight he’ll be vying to become the first Mets starter to win his first six decisions with the team, and the first Met to go 6-0 since Mike Pelfrey in 2008.

Dickey was on the ropes in his last start at Cleveland, but was able to make an in-inning adjustment to hold on for the victory.

The adjustment came at the suggestion of pitching coach Dan Warthen, who told Dickey to light a fire under the butterfly.

“I had runners on second and third and he came out and encouraged me to throw the hard one,’’ Dickey said.  “It’s about 4, 5 mph harder than my comfort-zone knuckler. It was a good step in my evolution, learning to adjust in-game.’’

It’s a risky adjustment for a knuckleballer to make because there’s always the possibility the extra push could force the pitch to spin out into a slow fat batting practice fastball.