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.

 

Jun 20

Santana resumes throwing; return not soon.

Johan Santana resumed his throwing program and told ESPN Radio he believes it is possible to return in late July.

SANTANA: Throwing again.

That falls under the I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it category. Athletes are always putting a positive spin on the return dates of their injuries, and Santana is no exception.

The most hysterical thing I’ve heard lately was on a call-in radio show when the topic was who Santana would replace in the rotation.

There’s no way of telling when Santana would return as evidenced by his setback in June when he complained of soreness in his shoulder. Santana underwent surgery last September to fix a torn capsule in his left shoulder.

The protocol in these things is to throw off the mound to build up this arm strength and work on all his pitches.  From there, it will be throwing to live hitters in batting practice, until graduating to rehab games.

It takes a pitcher a six-week spring training to be ready for the season and that puts us into early August. As of now, Santana isn’t even at the first day of spring training.

 

Jun 16

Sandy Alderson speaks, but what is he really saying?

ALDERSON: What's he really saying?

As usual, there’s a lot of issues floating around the Mets, and general manager Sandy Alderson touched on several this morning on WFAN.

Not all his comments can be interpreted in the positive, and for the most park he spoke in GM-speak, which means more smoke than fire and nothing definitive.

Among the issues:

Jose Reyes: Alderson recognized the year Reyes is having, but said he doesn’t know if the shortstop intends to test free agency and hasn’t determined the parameters of a contract offer.

This seems incomprehensible. First of all, How can Alderson not plan on Reyes testing the market? He can’t be naïve enough to believe the player will take what the Mets offer in the offseason without testing the market. The only way he won’t is if he commits to the Mets now and he certainly won’t without a contract offer.

For an offer to be made, Alderson has to have limits and I can’t see how an opening offer hasn’t already been determined, even with the Wilpon’s financial troubles. The Mets must know the price keeps rising the better Reyes performs and they need to make a decision now on whether they want to keep him.

Reyes has played well enough, and long enough, so far for that decision to be made. If the Mets are waiting to see if he’ll make it through the year healthy, then they seriously risk losing him. The longer this drags on, the odds get longer on him staying with the Mets.

As far as trading him, Alderson won’t tip his hand, but must realize that with how well the team is playing he risks the fans losing interest if the Mets deal Reyes.

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