Aug 08

Damn, maybe they are cursed.

I don’t believe in curses, I really don’t. But, with the Mets, they make you wonder.

Daniel Murphy sustained a Grade 2 MCL tear yesterday. He wasn’t even in the starting lineup, but entered late and left soon after when the Braves’ Jose Costanza slid into his left knee at second base. He’s done for the season. No surgery, but four months of recovery time.

MURPHY: Gone for year.

The way Murphy was hitting it appeared he turned the corner and all the Mets had to do was find a place for him. This is twice now where he’s been injured at second base, so that’s not his sweet spot.

At this timetable, Murphy won’t begin rehabbing until January, so we have no idea if he’ll be ready for spring training.

Meanwhile, Reyes, who missed 16 games with a strained left hamstring last month, reinjured the hammy running out a ball in the first inning.

If the same level of injury landed Reyes on the DL last time, it’s probably a decent assumption to think the same now. In any case, he won’t be playing soon.

Yesterday, I suggested Reyes was returning to earth with his injury and subsequent slump. There’s no reason to pull off that now.

Reyes has had hamstring problems at various times during his career, playing in just 54 games in 2004 and being limited to 36 in 2009. Yes, he had that stretch from 2006-08, but in seeking a long term contract they look at the recent injury history.

The injuries to Reyes and Murphy are two of many to the 2011 Mets, who are without Johan Santana – perhaps for the season – and another starter, Chris Young, for the year. David Wright missed two months with a stress fracture to his lower back, and Ike Davis is likely done for the year with an ankle injury which could require surgery.

On the lower levels, Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia have all missed significant playing – and developing – time.

Ironically, as the Mets face losing Reyes to free-agency, this injury could enhance their chances. That is, if they want to take the risk. Should Reyes miss a significant amount of more time, his price could dip to where the Mets could be players.

But, do they want to bring back a guy who can’t stay on the field?

 

Aug 05

Tonight’s line-up; Davis to get second opinion.

Last year’s feel good story is feeling his lumps this summer. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey salvaged the rotation when Oliver Perez was shut down, but has hardly been a surprise this year.

Dickey, tonight’s starter against Atlanta, is 5-9 with a respectable 3.77 ERA – a sign he’s not getting much support – but has two victories to show for his last ten starts.

Dickey often manages to give the Mets innings, going at least six innings in 17 of his 22 starts.

Here’s tonight’s lineup against the Braves:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 2B

Daniel Murphy, RF

David Wright, 3B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Bay, LF
Lucas Duda, RF

Josh Thole, C

R.A. Dickey, RP

NOTEBOOK: As suggested here earlier, the news isn’t encouraging for Ike Davis, who said microfracture surgery is an option. Davis will get another non-Mets opinion Tuesday. Meanwhile, Sandy Alderson said the plan is wait at least another month before deciding what to do. It would give Davis one more month of recovery and rehab if the surgery was done now. February will be quicker than you think.

Johan Santana is with the team during the home stand, but will not throw.

 

Aug 05

Mets shouldn’t push it with Santana and Davis.

Johan Santana has a fatigued left shoulder, which is better than another tear. Ike Davis is to be re-evaluated, but he already said he doubts he’ll play again this season.

SANTANA: No need to rush him.

Given the Mets’ history with injuries, I don’t see how anybody can be surprised by any of this, and certainly not feel disappointed about the prospect of not seeing either again this season.

If anything, I don’t want to see either this year.

I want Santana to keep working at getting stronger and not worrying about pitching again this year. It’s not ideal, but I can live with him not knowing until spring training. Even should Santana pitch again, the Mets should carry on their offseason business with the assumption he’ll breakdown again and not reach his former level.

Can you say Chien-Ming Wang?

There’s nothing to be gained by pushing Santana. There will be no playoffs, no pennant race. Let him rehab, rest and hope for the best next year.

It’s the prudent thing to do.

As far as Davis is concerned, all I see with trying to get him back is what happened with Carlos Beltran. They rehabbed him and had him come back for a few meaningless games in September and he ended up having the surgery anyway and came back late.

Learn from the past. Let the doctors take care of Davis now so at least he’ll have a chance to be ready for spring training.

Do you remember one of the vows when Sandy Alderson took over about being smarter with injuries? Well, here’s an opportunity to treat and take care of two key players.

Trying to get them back this year is just asking for trouble.

 

Aug 05

Today in Mets’ History: A reason to watch.

The Atlanta Braves are in town and not too long ago that was a big deal. As the Yankees and Red Sox go at it in Fenway Park for first place – it’s a worn story, but it’s real baseball – the Mets are clinging to what is left of their season.

After two disheartening losses to Florida, the Mets are 16.5 games behind first-place Philadelphia – noting for the record – and eight games behind wild-card leader Atlanta. They are also 2.5 games out of last place.

At 55-55, the Mets have exceeded most expectations to the point where the losses to the Marlins were anguishing. There was a moment this week when I actually looked at the scoreboard for the Braves score and did some quick wondering math.

The math is quite simple this weekend: Win or go home. Nothing short of a sweep will do.

For those who can’t dream of the impossible, remember on this date in Mets history they were in last place in the National League East by 11.5 games with a 48-60 record.

The Mets have the same record today as they did last season after 110 games, but even with their financial problems, there isn’t the same train wreck scenario.

Last year at this time we wondered about the job stability of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, and there was the lingering stagnating cloud that was Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.

All that negativity is gone, and with Sandy Alderson there is the hope of a rebuilding process heading in the right direction. And, considering what he was dealt, how can you not be impressed with what Terry Collins has brought to the party?

Carlos Beltran is gone, but we knew all along that would happen. We also knew this would be a season without Johan Santana. We aren’t surprised Jason Bay isn’t hitting. We can’t also be surprised by a fall off from R.A. Dickey and the bullpen lapses.

But, we didn’t expect to be without David Wright for two months and not have Ike Davis, and we thought Mike Pelfrey would take another step.

And, quite honestly, when Beltran was here, few expected him to play as well as he did.

There are still a myriad of questions and issues surrounding this team, not the least of which is its financial structure and what will become of Jose Reyes.

All that and there’s still reason to watch.

For the most part the Mets are playing hard, aggressive and interesting baseball. Not always spotless, but there is a grit about them that is appealing. Last year, mostly because of its leadership and the Perez mess, the Mets were an easy team to dislike.

However, there is a likeable quality about this group. They play with an integrity that for one more weekend at least, there is reason to watch them and wonder what if.

 

Jul 26

Santana to pitch Thursday

The Mets announced today Johan Santana will make his first rehab start Thursday at Port St. Luice and make 45 pitches. Figuring no setbacks, perhaps we’ll see Santana by mid-August. What do the Mets have to gain by pitching Santana with the season all but lost by then?

SANTANA: Expected to pitch this week.

Obviously, Santana will not have pitched enough by the end of the month for anybody to risk a trade. The key for Santana is to gain peace of mind so he won’t have to go through the winter wondering about the spring.

Pitching this year will also enable Santana to judge where he is physically and what his off-season pitching workouts will be like.

It’s tempting to say watching Santana could help the Mets gauge their pitching needs over the winter, but he wouldn’t have made enough starts for them to get a definitive picture. Even if Santana pitches well the last six weeks of the season and during spring training, he’ll need to go deep into 2012 before we know if he’ll hit the wall as pitchers often do the year after surgery.