The Mets seek to open their season at 2-0 tonight behind Mike Pelfrey (1-1, 4.43 ERA in four games against the Reds). After a dismal 2-6 start last season, Pelfrey won 11 of his last 16 starts.
Don’t expect to see Gary Sheffield in the field any time soon. He said he needs to drop a few and isn’t ready. Manager Jerry Manuel said perhaps the last game of the Florida series or when the team returns home.
“There will be a point when we put him in the field,” Manuel said. “We’ll find a place for him.”
Until then, here’s tonight’s line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Ryan Church, RF
Brian Schneider, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, P
The Mets reached agreement with Gary Sheffield on a one-year deal, with the player’s agent, Rufus Williams, saying he wants to play beyond this year: “You don’t show much when you’re sitting on the bench. Gary is going to play beyond this year. It’s important for him to get an opportunity to play. What we’re trying to ensure, wherever he’s going, is that he has an opportunity to participate and perform.”
At first glance, the player who figures to get his at-bats cut most is right fielder Ryan Church. Next would be Daniel Murphy. I don’t see the Mets bringing in a high-profile player such as Sheffield without the intent of playing him.
Sheffield has 499 career homers.
The talk all spring has been the need for a right-handed power bat. The Mets are thinking about it. What about Gary Sheffield? Would you take him, baggage and all, or are you satisfied with the Mets’ offense as it is?
He has his moods, but the man can hit when he’s healthy. And, the Mets do have that need.