Jul 19

Reyes, Beltran return to Mets’ lineup, but for how long?

Jose Reyes is back in the lineup tonight against St. Louis, with Ruben Tejada being optioned to Buffalo. No surprise in the names, but with how Reyes has responded to injuries, I thought they might have dragged this out another day or two as a precaution.

Carlos Beltran is also back in to give another audition to prospective suitors before the July 31 deadline. Atlanta is one of the teams reportedly interested, but unless there’s another team involved would the Mets trade directly with the Braves on this big a deal?

That would also include the Phillies, whom I would be shocked to see get Beltran from the Mets. Other teams with reported interest, who have the resources to deal, are Boston, Detroit, Texas and San Francisco, and that’s the group where I see him going.

Reportedly, Pittsburgh and Cleveland have a desire for a bat, but I don’t think they have the prospects to swing such a trade.

Beltran, who has been out with the flu, returns tonight against St. Louis.

Here’s tonight’s order:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ronny Paulino, C

Dillon Gee, RP

 

Jul 18

Today in Mets’ History: This year looking like last summer.

Mets got this break during collapse.

The Mets are entering a strangely familiar territory.

Last year the prevailing midseason issue after the break was whether Jerry Manuel could take control of his team and guide them either into the postseason, or to at least make a wild-card run.

It didn’t happen. On this date last season, the Mets broke a three-game losing streak coming out of the All-Star break with a series-salvaging 4-3 victory at San Francisco in 10 innings.

The game featured an atrocious call by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi that swiped a victory from the Giants. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Cuzzi called out Travis Ishikawa at the plate, saying he slide under Henry Blanco’s tag.

Replays proved otherwise, but most damning was Blanco’s comments: “He was safe all the way. Everybody was surprised when he was called out.’’

BOX SCORE

With the victory, the Mets moved to 49-43, five games behind in the National East. Not bad on the surface, but the Mets were in the midst of losing seven of nine games, and would go on to lose six of their next eight, all on the road.

This season, the Mets dropped two of three coming out of the break to Philadelphia, and overall have dropped five of their last seven games.

The Mets close out July with a make-up game tonight at Citi Field, followed by three home games with St. Louis. Then they are on the road to Florida for three, Cincinnati for three and Washington for three.

Even with the positive news about Jose Reyes’ rehab game tonight, the Mets are in for an interesting couple of weeks until the trade deadline.

Last year they unraveled, but they had little to give up as nobody wanted Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo. This season there are more attractive things on the Mets’ rosters for contenders.

Carlos Beltran is currently the big prize. He’s healthy, playing well and has adjusted to a new team. The Mets could bring a prospect or two in return, more, if they extend a negotiating window to the team in attempt to land Beltran long term. Of course, Beltran’s agent is Scott Boras, and his preference in similar situations is to play the open market.

Boras is not likely to do anything to help the Mets, who will not receive compensatory draft picks if he leaves as a FA.

Reyes, who hopes to play tomorrow, is also available, but the Mets would like to keep him, and will do so unless they are bowled over. If that were to happen, the team would want a chance to negotiate with Reyes long term. The Mets will get more of a package in this situation rather than if they sell him to a team as a rental.

The Mets have several other players teams could covet in support or bullpen roles, including: Angel Pagan, Scott Hairston, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen, and tonight’s starter, Chris Capuano.

Here’s tonight’s lineup behind Capuano:

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, 2B

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Scott Hairston, RF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Jason Bay, LF

Josh Thole, C

Ruben Tejada, SS

Chris Capuano, LP

 

Jun 23

Mets catch break; today’s lineup.

Maybe it was a make-up call from the Baseball Gods after last week’s balk-off loss, but the Mets caught a break last night when Justin Turner made no effort to avoid being hit by a pitch, and, in fact, appeared to lead into the ball. He admitted he took one for the team.

By rule, he should have been out.

Although his record doesn’t show it, R.A. Dickey has pitched better lately. Opponents tagged him for a .308 average in April, but are hitting just .183 in June. He lost another victory last night when Francisco Rodriguez coughed up his second straight save opportunity. Rodriguez has given up 11 earned runs in his last 11 appearances, calling his performance “pathetic.”

The word also applies to Jason Bay, who went 0-for-5 with three more strikeouts, and today has been moved out of the cleanup spot.

Here’s today’s lineup against Oakland:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 2B

Carlos Beltran, CF

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Josh Thole, C

Chris Capuano, LP

 

 

 

Jun 22

Tonight’s lineup vs. Athletics

Well, we certainly didn’t expect it would last forever for Dillon Gee. It was clear from the outset he didn’t have it last night. It is also clear there’s plenty of upside with Gee.

R.A. Dickey, however, remains a question. He hasn’t pitched with the consistency he did last season. He goes tonight against Oakland.

Here’s the lineup:

 

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF

Scott Hairston, CF

Ronny Paulino, C

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ruben Tejada, 2B

R.A. Dickey, RP

 

At first glance, I wonder about Bay hitting clean-up again. He did have a good night yesterday, but one night doesn’t turn it around.

However, I look at the roster and can’t think of anybody else other than Carlos Beltran who could hit fourth now, but he’s been comfortable batting third.

Bay said he used his legs more to drive the ball, where previously he’d been mostly arms. Who knows? That could be as good a reason as any for his poor season.

If the Mets are to be competitive this year, they need Bay to produce. Last night was a good sign, and we’ve seen too few of them this season.

 

Jun 11

Dickey starts as Mets eye .500

Rebuilding teams make progress in small steps, and the Mets could make one tonight, with a victory at Pittsburgh, they could reach .500.

Should they win and Florida lose, they would trail the third-place Marlins by a half-game.

The Mets have been doing it with pitching with surprise Dillon Gee’s gem last night their seventh consecutive quality start. Last year’s surprise starter, R. A. Dickey, will start for the Mets.

After a slow start, Dickey is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA over his last four games.

Here’s tonight’s lineup at Pittsburgh, which features the return of Jason Bay.

 

Jose Reyes, SS

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ronny Paulino, C

R.A. Dickey, RP