Apr 19

Dealing Beltran, Reyes will be difficult.

The more I think of it, the less I believe the Mets will pull off a significant deal at the trade deadline involving Carlos Beltran and/or Jose Reyes.

REYES: Don't see him, Beltran, going anywhere.

The Mets would love to rid themselves of the balance of Beltran’s contract, but several scouts have reportedly said they couldn’t recommend a trade for the often-injured outfielder based on his age, salary and injury history. Even should Beltran stay upright and hit until late July, there is the fear he could break down as he has in each of the previous two seasons. I see a team not going overboard on the players it would send the Mets, but also envision the reluctance or not wanting to pick up the rest of Beltran’s $18.5 million contract at the end of July.

It would be too risky a move for a contender, especially if there are other alternatives on the market. Why take that risk when the odds are Beltran will hobble again between now and the end of the season? Any team interested in Beltran is likely to wait until the winter when it wouldn’t have to surrender talent and would have the leverage in the money.

For now, the Mets are waiting for a desperate team.

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Apr 18

Collins manages big; Wright gets it.

I loved the way Terry Collins managed yesterday afternoon, using RA Dickey and Chris Capuano in relief. After losing seven straight, Collins pulled out the stops yesterday in how he handled his overworked bullpen. Yesterday was their throw day anyway, so why not use them in the game to take some of the pressure off the pen.

WRIGHT: Brought some smiles yesterday.

The message was also clear to his team that every game is important. It’s something neither Willie Randolph nor Jerry Manuel would have done. There are times a manager might sacrifice a game in April or May to save his pen for later which I understand. But, all too often a manager doesn’t fully utilize a starter’s throw day, which is something Collins did and I hope isn’t reluctant to do again.

I also like how he moved Josh Thole to second. Angel Pagan hasn’t been producing and Collins took advantage of what Thole brings to the table. I also hope Collins sticks with Brad Emaus at second base. This could be construed as an experimental season and I’d like a real look at Emaus. It couldn’t couldn’t hurt.

By this time, you’ve probably seen the video of David Wright playing catch with Braves fans from the field. Wright hasn’t played well recently, but rather than sulk he continued to be a good ambassador to the sport that pays him well. There are a few guys who truly understand their role to the public and Wright is one of them. This guy gets it.

Long after those kids forget what happened in the game, they’ll remember their moment with Wright. Maybe he turned them into Mets fans, who knows? The important thing is he made a memory and there’s no price tag you can put on that.

On the field, however, Wright is again striking out too much and not delivering in the clutch, and twice this week ended games by making the final out with the tying and winning runs on base. I’m not going to bury Wright. He’s not a guy like Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard or Alex Rodriguez, who can carry a team on his back. He’s a hitter at his best when there are others around him producing. He is what he is, and that’s not going to change.


Apr 17

Mets stop slide behind Gee, Thole.

Well, you didn’t think they’d lose them all, did you?

GEE: Gives Mets solid start

The Mets snapped their seven-game losing streak this afternoon behind the strong pitching of Dillon Gee and timely hitting of Josh Thole to beat the Braves, 3-2.

Gee was brought up from Triple-A Buffalo and Thole was elevated to second from eighth in the batting order, and for one afternoon at least all seemed right in the Mets’ universe.

Gee had a rough travel day that included his luggage not arriving, so he had to borrow a glove and spikes. He was called up to replace the disabled Chris Young, and given the state of the Mets’ pitching he should get another start Friday in New York against Arizona. Thole will likely stay in the two hole for a while.

One of the interesting things to come out of the day was the news the Mets considered bringing up Jenrry Mejia to start over Gee. Mejia has been pitching well in the minors, but wisely GM Sandy Alderson eschewed the temptation of Mejia’s crackling fastball to allow him to continue to grow on the farm.

Using Mejia for this start would have come across as a panic move and been reminiscent of a decision from the Omar Minaya era. As bad as the Mets have been lately, it’s still only April and way too early to bag their building plans regarding Mejia.

On another positive note, word is Jason Bay is making progress and could be activated from the disabled list Tuesday.

Apr 17

Pelfrey spits bit again; Gee gets start today.

Did you notice how when Terry Collins pulled Mike Pelfrey last night that he never spoke with his pitcher. In fact, he stood a few feet away.

PELFREY: Another rough night.

It’s hard to picture a more glaring display of disgust. Reminds me of how Pelfrey turned his back on Jerry Manuel last season. What goes around, comes around, I guess.

Collins’ words later, complete with a glazed over look in his eyes, of things getting better rang hollow, pretty much like his team’s peformance.

Two doubleheader losses in three days will do it for a manager.

After sleeping on it, I still can’t figure out what Daniel Murphy was thinking as he took off for third base. It’s one thing to try to make things happen. It’s another to not have a clue.

The Mets try to avoid their eighth straight loss this afternoon and pull out of the third worst start in franchise history. To give you an idea of how dismal things are, only the 1962 and 1964 teams began their schedules with more futility.

It begins with pitching and Pelfrey has done nothing to fortify his supposed role as ace. After four starts, his ERA stands at a robust 9.72. Pelfrey said must get better, which is a pretty generous assessment.

Overall, Mets’ starters have a 6.29 ERA and averaging 5.1 innings a start, which of course, won’t get it done. During the losing streak the staff ERA is 5.86, while the offense is averaging just over three runs a game while hitting .213.

Today’s hope is Dillon Gee, who’ll replace Chris Young, who was placed on the DL with biceps tendinitis.

Here’s this afternoon’s lineup at Atlanta:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF

Brad Emaus, 2B

Dillon Gee, RP

LINEUP COMMENTS: Interesting to see Thole elevated to second. Theoretically, Thole’s bat control and command of the strikezone should help Jose Reyes, while it is hoped by dropping Pagan will add punch to the middle of the order. The Mets are at the position where it doesn’t hurt to try.


Apr 16

Chris Young should sit tomorrow.

Chris Young said his biceps tendinitis is better, but not completely. He told manager Terry Collins yesterday he’s not sure how long he can go Sunday.

YOUNG: Has achy shoulder.

“There’s no guarantees on how it could feel Sunday,’’ Young told reporters in Atlanta.

Given that, what is the holdup in announcing a call up?

Considering the fragile make-up of the Mets’ rotation, Young’s injury history and how early it is in the season, there’s no reason Young should even think about starting tomorrow. It is a no-brainer to push him back, if not put on the disabled list.

The Mets held back Triple-A lefty Pat Misch from his last scheduled start, or they could opt for Dillon Gee, who would be going on his normal turn Sunday.

Friday’s rainout helped in that it gave the overtaxed bullpen a night of rest, but it will only be temporary with today’s doubleheader, which features reliever D.J. Carrasco starting game one – five innings would be a miracle – and Mike Pelfrey, who has had a slow start going in the second game.

Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Bay, on the DL with a strained rib cage, could play in a minor league rehab game today. Bay’s original return date was pushed back to April 26, but these are the Mets, so always bet the over on injury return.