Aug 20

Mets activate Wagner; release Hernandez

As expected, the Mets activated Billy Wagner from the 60-day disabled list this afternoon. Not so expected, that in order to make room they released Livan Hernandez.

Wagner made remarkable progress from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, but don’t expect to see much of him at Citi Field. He’ll get a few showcase appearances and then the Mets will attempt to make a waiver deal.

WAGNER: Here today, gone tomorrow?

WAGNER: Here today, gone tomorrow?


Wagner has a no-trade clause but would waive it in order to go to a contender. He says he could live for being a set-up man for the rest of this season but wants to be a closer next year. The Chicago Cubs, for one, need a closer.

I’ve always liked Wagner, especially for his outspoken nature. He’s always been a stand-up guy as knows the pulse of the clubhouse.

As for Hernandez, he started at 5-1 and then hit a wall. He was 7-8 with a 5.47 ERA, but had a 7.33 ERA in July and an 11.30 ERA in August.

There are contenders who need innings, and Hernandez pitched well enough to where some team will take a look.

Aug 18

Hernandez to stay in rotation

After Livan Hernandez’s third awful start, manager Jerry Manuel, with no other alternatives, said the veteran will make his next turn.

“We’re gonna stay where we are, at this period, as I speak… as of right now, we’re gonna stay in rotation,” Manuel said.

Hernandez is 2–5 with a 8.71 ERA in his last eight starts. He began the season at 5-1.

I would like to see if the Mets could get something for him in a waiver deal, but the more he pitches the more his value decreases.

Aug 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #118; Livan stays in rotation.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The core is gone, maybe never to return this season. With the Mets well below .500 and expectations of this year faded to bitter memories, there’s really no reason to rush David Wright’s return, or that of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

Yes, there are reasons to see them, but none of the compelling team variety. The only one I can see them getting something for is Delgado in a waiver trade, but let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

The 55-62 Mets have played much of the year without Beltran, Delgado and Reyes, so watching Wright take a Matt Cain fastball in the earflap was especially difficult.

“He’s in our thoughts and our prayers,’’ Daniel Murphy said. “He’s the leader of this ball club.”

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

Livan Hernandez (7-7, 5.28) goes to the mound tonight against the Giants’ Joe Martinez (2-1, 6.00). Hernandez will try to rebound for his last two starts in which he gave up 12 runs on 15 hits and seven walks.

Manuel could have opted with Tim Redding or Nelson Figueroa, but stuck with Hernandez.

“Just looking back at everything, there’s been times where he’s had a couple bad outings and then he’s bounced right back,” Manuel said. “Hopefully we can get that from him now on the rest of the way.’’

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Cory Sullivan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTEBOOK: Only three players, Murphy, Schneider and Castillo from the Opening Day batting order. … Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano has not allowed an earned run in 14 of his past 15 appearances. … The Mets are 16-16 in one-run games, fitting for a team below .500. … Giants catcher Bengie Molina is expected to return to the lineup after Eli Whiteside replaced him Sunday. Molina, who hit the game-winning homer Saturday, is 8 for 17 with three homers lifetime versus Hernandez. … Alex Cora is still having some issues with his hand.

Aug 14

Some random thoughts ….

Going over a few things in my mind, including yesterday’s Sheffield post.

* I don’t see how anyone could think bringing back Gary Sheffield for next year is a good idea. With the complaints this year of the Mets being old and not athletic, Sheffield in 2010 does nothing to make that happen. The Mets look listless now, and Sheffield only adds to that appearance when you see him in the outfield. Sheffield has always been a me-first guy, and he’ll complain about playing time for sure. At 40, he’s not getting any younger and is already showing break-down signs. If he would had 25 homers in the bank I’d consider it, but he’s got 10. That might be decent coming off the bench, but this guy wants to play full time. Bad move.

* We’ll know this afternoon whether Livan Hernandez will stay in the rotation. Jerry Manuel talks about his respect for Hernandez, but he’s let him twist in the wind since his last start. Do the Mets really have any other viable options? Probably not. Like with Sheffield, I would be willing to see what I could get for Hernandez in a waiver deal considering we probably won’t see him next season.

* David Wright’s knee has been examined and we’ll find out the results later today. With the team going nowhere, there’s not point running him into the ground.

* In the “It’s About Time,” category, fans will notice photos of notable Mets and moments in club history around Citi Field at tonight’s game against the Giants. Why this wasn’t done from the outset, along with a Mets’ Hall of Fame, is beyond me. The Mets don’t have the glorious history of the Yankees or Dodgers, but they have an compelling history nonetheless. It should have been honored and on display all along. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a meaningful exhibit, but it isn’t about the Mets. Honor your own history before someone else’s.

* I’ve said this numerous times, so once more shouldn’t hurt. The competitive aspect of the season is over. Shut down Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to let them fully heal. Unless there are serious concerns about their health that need to be answered as to prepare for the off-season – and this doesn’t seem to be the case – there’s no benefit in dragging them out there again this year. It could only make matters worse.

* Billy Wagner is expected to be activated Sunday, and he’s somebody the Mets might be able to swing a waiver deal for to pick up a prospect. Left relievers are valuable in a pennant race and if Wagner is close to being 100 percent he could net something in return. They certainly aren’t going to offer him arbitration they might as well see what is out there.

* For the most part, I’ve held my tongue on Gannett. Not now. On a sad note, my former newspaper, The Journal News, is forcing employees to re-apply for their jobs. Even so, at least 70 people will get cut. Some good people will lose their jobs. Management said only current employees are eligible to apply, but apparently these Gannett openings are on the public job boards. Nice lie. Just a different lie than the one they told me.

Gannett still makes a profit, but apparently not enough. This used to be an aggressive newspaper with quality people putting out a quality product. It is but a shell of its former self as Corporate gut the product, presumably to write-off its self-inflicted losses. It’s a sleazy company that deserves its demise. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people get hurt.

I guess, all you need to know about the small thinking that goes on at my former place is every afternoon they cut off the air conditioning for an hour to presumably save a few pennies.

Stay classy Gannett, stay classy.

Aug 08

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #110; Big night for Parnell.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The 51-58 Mets might be playing one of their most important games of the season tonight in San Diego when they start Bobby Parnell against the Padres.

The Mets, loaded with pitching questions, might not be the big players in the free agent market we all anticipate them to be. Therefore, if they are serious about considering Parnell for the rotation, it’s important they get some idea about him now.

As of now, the Mets have three givens in their rotation for next season: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and, like it or not, Oliver Perez. Let’s face it, Perez’s performance the other night bought him the goodwill needed to keep sending him out there. The Mets would like to count on John Maine, but the would have liked to have counted on him this season, too. Livan Hernandez has pitched will in half his starts. The other half, not so much.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.

PARNELL: Big opportunity.


Parnell will have a 70-pitch ceiling, which might not take him through the fifth inning. However, this is just like spring training. He’ll get ten more pitches or another inning the next time.

Parnell had been 2–3 with a 3.74 ERA in 45 2/3 innings, with 38 strikeouts. Parnell, a starter in the minors, has pitched well out of the bullpen, but his heart remains as a starter.

As a reliever, Parnell was able to get by on his 95 mph. fastball, but as a starter he’ll need to rely more on his slider, which is pretty good, and a splitter, which isn’t as refined.

Here’s the line-up behind Parnell:

Angel Pagan, CF
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: John Maine will try to play catch on Monday. … Luis Castillo might be available tomorrow. … Gary Sheffield is still bothered by a sore hamstring.