Jun 10

What’s the answer for Bay?

Terry Collins floated the idea several weeks ago, but never followed through with batting Jason Bay second in the order behind Jose Reyes.

Theoretically, Bay would get more fastballs with running threat Reyes on first. Batting second snapped David Wright out of funks before, and perhaps it would do the same for Bay.

BAY: Strike three. You see this a lot.

 

Obviously, dropping him to sixth didn’t work. He’s still chasing breaking balls away. He’s also not turning on the fastball, and his plate presence is terrible.

Bay’s problems are physical and mental, and there’s no quick fix. Afterall, this has been lingering for two years with no signs of coming out of it.

I don’t believe sending Bay to the minor leagues is the answer, because what good does beating up on those pitchers do? Assuming, of course, he does beat up on them.

Bay needs to work himself out of this by playing, so an extended benching isn’t the answer, either. Hitting second might not work, but it hasn’t been attempted.

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Jun 07

Mets doing well despite all that’s happened.

PELFREY: One of the players who haven't performed.

Believe me when I say this, but I am not taking a drink of the Kool-Aid. I never expected the Mets to contend this season and don’t expect that to change.

I still think over the next six weeks the Mets will attempt to shed payroll in the names of Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Francisco Rodriguez. I don’t know what will become of David Wright, but I know they won’t, and can’t, trade him now because he’s injured.

Despite the low expectations from this team coming out of spring training, and regardless of the maddening ball they play at times – they still don’t hit with runners in scoring position and I can’t believe Reyes didn’t get that ball the other night – they are fortunate to be 28-31, an amazing three games under .500.

If they had any kind of bullpen, the Mets would be over .500 and we’d be thinking about the wild card.

Even though that’s not the case, the Mets are playing some surprising ball considering all that’s gone awry. Truth be told, when you look at all their issues, they are  lucky they aren’t ten games or more under.

Let’s look at it:

* They haven’t have Johan Santana all season and don’t figure to get him until July, if at all. That’s an immeasurable loss.

* Their de facto ace, Mike Pelfrey, has been inconsistent. Not Oliver Perez inconsistent, but he hasn’t taken the next step expected of him after last season. There were many who thought he could evolve into a 20-game winner this year.

* Chris Young is out for the season. He was a reach anyway, but pitched well in spots before he was injured.

* R.A. Dickey, last year’s surprise, has been off, although he’s pitched better lately despite being 3-6.

* Jon Niese had high expectations, but is 4-5 after a slow start.

* The Mets’ bullpen is ranked 25th in the majors with a 4.37 ERA, and has a 10.43 ERA over its last 14 games. The Mets have been outscored 42-18 in the seventh inning and 38-26 in the eighth. They have been outscored 103-65 from the seventh inning on.

* The Mets have lost eight games when leading after the sixth inning.  The Mets have lost nine one-run games and four two-run games.

* Josh Thole has been hot lately, but overall his .234 average has been a disappointment. Defensively, he’s had his problems with passed balls and throwing out runners.

* Ike Davis has been on the disabled list since May 12, and there’s no word on his return.

* Wright is on the disabled list with a stress fracture of his lower back, but prior to that was hitting .226 with 18 RBI.

* Jason Bay was on the disabled list to start of the season, but has rebounded to hit .216 with two homers and 10 RBI. Rebounded, of course, was written with sarcasm in mind.

* Angel Pagan was on the disabled list for a month, and last year’s surprise is hitting .229 with home homer and 10 RBI.

This was supposed to be an ugly summer, and despite all that’s gone wrong it hasn’t turned out that way. The Mets have been remarkably competitive and it makes one wonder what things could be with a healthy roster, some players performing to their expectations and a better bullpen.

When you look at the total picture, which also includes the distractions from ownership and the potential of a roster purge, the Mets have played surprisingly well and fortunate to be where they are record-wise.

If we could be sure the team would stay intact the rest of the year, and even add a piece, it could make for an interesting summer.

Would be nice to find out, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.

 

Jun 06

Injury updates: Wright, Beltran and Davis.

WRIGHT: Won't be doing this for at least three weeks.

The more I think of it, the more it steams me how poorly David Wright’s injury was handled – by both parties. First, by Wright for not immediately seeking treatment, and then for putting it off. Then by the Mets for not insisting he be examined.

Some days it hurt and others it felt better, but Wright kept playing. I admire his grit, but in this case question his judgment. The result was playing a month with a fracture in his lower back. Wright will be shut down for at least another three weeks.

Had this been done immediately, he might be playing today, if not shortly. And, there’s no telling what residual damage was done, or potentially could have been done.

The Mets have a lot invested in Wright, which makes it crazy to play around like this.

Today’s off day will give Carlos Beltran a chance to heel his bruised shin, but don’t be surprised if he sits Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Ike Davis will continue to rehab his ankle in Port St. Lucie.

Jun 03

David Wright update; talks with Fred.

WRIGHT: Wants to stay.

David Wright is expected to have another X-Ray taken on his back today. Obviously, there’s no timetable for him, and there won’t be until the tests are completed.

It bothers me it took so long for him to be diagnosed with the stress fracture. Blame him for putting the tests off and the Mets for not being insistent. There’s no reason why he played another month in discomfort.

Meanwhile, Wright reportedly has spoken with owner Fred Wilpon, and said: “All is well. I think it’s been well documented that I enjoy playing here and I hope I can be doing that for a long time.’’

Trade rumors are part of the game and they continue to swirl around him and Jose Reyes because of the Mets’ financial problems.

Trading Wright might bring back several prospects in return, but the loss of what a healthy Wright can do on the field and the marketing of him is hard to measure.

 

May 25

Mets try to pick up pieces tonight at Wrigley.

Dillon Gee will be the latest to attempt to halt the Mets’ slide, which is at three games.

After getting waxed 11-1 last night by the Cubs in response to owner Fred Wilpon’s comments about payroll and calling out three of his key players, the Mets are in need of an emotional overhaul.

“We’re going to move on,’’ Mets manager Terry Collins said, reading the cliché handbook. “Just chalk it up as a game we didn’t play very good. We didn’t pitch as well as we can.’’

The Mets are again on the offensive skids with 14 runs scored in their last seven games.

NOTEBOOK: David Wright had a second opinion on the stress fracture in his lower back, and the original diagnosis was confirmed. … Angel Pagan is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday. … The news isn’t good on Ike Davis, whose foot is still sore, so he’ll remain on the disabled list.