Aug 13

Puzzling Sheffield decision.

Reportedly, Gary Sheffield and Pedro Feliciano were pulled off waivers after being claimed. Feliciano, I can see. As a lefty reliever he’s a valuable commodity, something the Mets could use next season.

Sheffield, I don’t understand. By pulling him off waivers they can’t deal him and with this season fading away, what’s the point? It’s not as if he’ll carry the Mets for the next seven weeks into the playoffs. Instead, it shows some interest in next year, which is puzzling.

Jerry Manuel said he’d like Sheffield back, but he’s only good when he’s healthy and plays every day. How long ago has that been?

Do the Mets really see a 40-plus, breaking-down outfielder as central to their plans for 2010? If that’s the case, they are in even worse shape than I thought. The Mets need to get younger and more athletic, and Sheffield doesn’t fit that description.

No, they wouldn’t have gotten much for him, but something is better than nothing.

Aug 12

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #114; Perez tries to stop slide.

The Mets close their so-far 1-5 road trip this afternoon in Arizona with Oliver Perez. Giving the ball to Perez to stop a losing skid doesn’t seem like such a comforting thought, but that’s what he did in his last start at San Diego.

Oliver Perez (2-3, 6.38) will toe the rubber for New York looking to build on perhaps his best performance of the season.

In a rare solid start, Perez gave up one run on two hits with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. However, closer Francisco Rodriguez threw it away when he gave up five runs, including a walk-off grand slam, in a 6-2 loss at San Diego on Friday.

Perez started against Arizona, Aug. 1, giving up three runs and walking five in five innings and didn’t get a decision.

David Wright, who struck out last night to end the game as a pinch-hitter, should be back in the line-up today. In an interesting note, manager Jerry Manuel said he’d like to see Gary Sheffield return.

I’m cool to the idea. I think the Mets have gotten the most they can out of Sheffield and don’t see a substantial improvement next season.

Aug 11

Sheffield likely to play tonight.

Manager Jerry Sheffield said to expect Gary Sheffield in the line-up tonight at Arizona. Sheffield has been hobbled with a sore hamstring since July 17. Prior to last night’s game, Manuel told Sheffield not to expect to start until he’s healed, but after appearing as a pinch-hitter it looks as if he’ll get the green light.

SHEFFIELD: Could he go?

SHEFFIELD: Could he go?

Sheffield believes he’s ready.

“If there ever was a time I thought I couldn’t play, that would be a time I would walk away,” said Sheffield, who unbelievable leads the Mets with ten homers. “But I still can hit 30 home runs. I can still hit in the middle of the order for a contending ball club.”

The operative words there are “contending ball club.”

With the season fading away, we know Sheffield, 40, won’t be invited back next season and his real value to the Mets might be in getting a minor league player in a waiver deal.

Aug 06

Try to salvage something from the season ….

Not that getting Jose Reyes back would’ve made any difference for this year, but the news of his scar tissue definitely puts a seal on the season for me. Let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

In light of this, the Mets should be start to become proactive on looking ahead to next season. Who does or doesn’t play should be determined by the blueprint for 2010.

Shutting down Carlos Beltran should also be seriously considered. Let him fully recover and not risk further injury.

I would also see what players I might swing a waiver deal for. Carlos Delgado? Gary Sheffield? Sean Green? Luis Castillo? If you know you’re not going to keep them, you might as well start stocking up for the future.

Starting Bobby Parnell isn’t a bad idea, especially since you know Jon Niese might not be ready for spring training to compete for a spot in the rotation. I might even consider using Oliver Perez out of the bullpen to get an idea what he could do in that role. Let’s face it, he’s not doing it as a starter. If they can learn something now, it better helps in their planning.

I’d also start thinking about spring training with whatever prospects are on the minor league level. If there’s somebody down there the organization is considering letting compete for a spot in the spring call them up now for a look-see. Why wait until Sept.1? And, it’s not exactly like the minor league franchises are competing for anything down there.

What is there to lose? After all, the season is already all but lost.

Jul 16

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #88; second half begins.



One of the major storylines last offseason was the Mets’ decision to give Oliver Perez three years instead of four years for Derek Lowe.

The pitchers face each other tonight in Atlanta as the second half of the season begins. My confidence level in Perez is about zero. There’s just something about him that screams bust.

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?

The Mets are within striking distance in the NL East. Teams have come back from a lot greater holes in far less time. The Mets know that from blowing a seven-game lead with 17 to play in 2007. It has been done, but rarely by a team with as many glaring deficiencies as these Mets.

1. Perez is only one of three major concerns in the rotation. There’s John Maine’s shoulder, which nobody really knows will be ready. Plus, Livan Hernandez has been hit hard lately, so the bloom is off his fast start.

2. Don’t expect Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran back before the end of the month. Carlos Delgado will be back sometime in August, but by that time the competitive part of the season might be ove.

3. The bullpen started off so well, but has been worn down by the workload. Sean Green and Bobby Parnell have run hot-and-cold. Pedro Feliciano is being run into the ground and JJ Putz is on the DL. The way things are going, Billy Wagner, if he returns, won’t be a luxury but a necessity.

4. There’s been little consistent power production. It’s hard to believe Gary Sheffield leads the team in homers. Jeff Francoeur might add something, but the hitter they really need is Wright to step up.

5. The farm system is barren as we’ve frequently heard before. There are few major-league ready players to come up to help the Mets, which also means there are limited trade options. The Mets will not make a blockbuster kind of deal at the trade deadline.

Here’s the line-up that will take a crack at Derek Lowe:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Oliver Perez, LP

Perez (2-2, 8.78 ERA) will make his second start for the Mets since coming off the disabled list. Perez earned the victory against the Dodgers, but threw only five innings and gave up seven walks. Perez had no record against the Braves last year, but had a 3.72 ERA in 19 1/3 innings against them.