Jun 02

Sorting out the Mets’ bullpen.

Francisco Rodriguez got out of it last night, but it got a little dicey in the end. That’s OK, because when it’s anybody else things get a lot dicey.

One of the best things about Mike Pelfrey’s eight-inning gem is it kept Jerry Manuel from going to his combustible bullpen. The bullpen, which started so well in April, has strained from overuse and evolved into a club concern.

RODRIGUEZ: Only sure thing in pen.

Here we are, June, and the Mets are still trying to find and define roles for their relievers, something that should have been done in March. However, because of ineffectiveness and injury, things change.

For one, Hisanori Takahashi, so effective early is not longer in the pen after being thrust into the rotation. How long Takahashi stays there is anybody’s guess. After two strong starts, Takahashi was raked by the Padres Monday night.

Now in the pen, taking up a spot, is Oliver Perez, now the human white flag in that he will come into the game when it is a lost cause or there are no other options, such as a game going long into extra innings.

The concern now is building a strong bridge to Rodriguez.

Before popping his hamstring, Ryota Igarashi was making claims to be the set-up man, and that’s what Manuel hoped when he came off the disabled list just under two weeks ago.
Igarashi has been awful since coming back, with the bottom possibly being reached Monday night when he gave up six runs on four hits and two walks in a mere one-third of an inning.

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Jun 01

Mets Chat Room: Pelfrey tries to stop the bleeding.

Game #53 at Padres

Mike Pelfrey: Stopper.

That’s what Pelfrey has become to the Mets in his emergence as a dominant pitcher, as four of his seven victories have come on the heels of a Mets’ loss.

Pelfrey will attempt to stop the bleeding tonight in the wake of the Padres’ torching the Mets’ staff for 18 runs on 19 hits last night. Pelfrey (7-1, 2.54 ERA) will be seeking to win his fourth straight start; he threw seven scoreless innings in a shutout of Philadelphia last Thursday.

“I think your job is to put up zeros,’’ said Pelfrey, in seven of his 10 starts has given up two or fewer runs.

Lifetime, Pelfrey is 1-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against San Diego.

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May 31

Time to get rid of Perez.

PEREZ: Time to cut ties.

The fear is there, but is it any worse than the embarrassment?

The fear is the Mets will cut loose Oliver Perez and he’ll find out what ails him under another pitching coach – maybe worse, it might be somebody in the NL East or The Jacket.

But, is that any worse than the embarrassment of watching Perez make a mockery of the concept of teamwork and force the Mets to play with what is a 24-man roster because of his refusal to accept repeated requests to go to the minor leagues to attempt to iron out his problems?

I would love to see the Mets attempt to suspend Perez for his selfishness for his unwillingness to make himself better, and label it conduct detrimental to the team. If an athlete doesn’t condition himself, doesn’t work out, then the team has some recourse. How is this not the same? How is refusing to go where you’ll get work different?

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May 28

Mets: On the road again.

MANUEL: Needs to figure out road woes

After another successful homestand – and it doesn’t get much better than a shutout sweep of the Phillies – the Mets hit the road to Milwaukee and San Diego.

Bizarre scheduling, yes, but nonetheless another obstacle for the Mets and challenge for manager Jerry Manuel. The whispers have eased about his job, but if they continue to stumble away from Citi Field could easily resurface.

This trip is one letter away from a trap, in that the Mets must guard against the inevitable letdown after beating the Yankees and Phillies. Milwaukee has the worst home record, but hasn’t always been an easy place to play for the Mets and the Padres have a good team.

The Mets are bearing down on the Phillies for the NL East lead, but they are still only a few games over .500 and have shown little ability thus far at winning on the road.

A baseball season is long and arduous. It is about sustaining power and that’s something we haven’t yet seen this year.

Aug 10

Sit Beltran; try to move Delgado.

At this stage of the game, and there is little game left for the 2009 New York Mets. We know they aren’t going to catch the Philadelphia Phillies, and they have to leapfrog almost the entire National League to have a puncher’s chance at a wild card.

They must start to make moves with 2010 in mind, and at the top of that list is to shut down Carlos Beltran and seriously evaluate the need for surgery. If Beltran does eventually need surgery, wouldn’t it be better to have it done now rather than October or November?

BELTRAN: Let him rest.

BELTRAN: Let him rest.


Should he get it now, he’ll have an extra three months to rehab, and Padres outfielder Brian Giles, who underwent the procedure microfracture surgery, said he’ll need every day.

“I would let it calm down and be ready for next year, having gone through what I went through,” Giles told reporters over the weekend. “There’s a lot of risk with this injury, especially with a young player like him. It could affect him for a long period of time.

“I rehabbed my butt off. I’ve never worked so hard to get ready for a season.”

Beltran is not soft nor is he a slacker, however, rehabbing is tough work and he’ll need the time to overcome the inevitable setbacks and slow points.

With little to play for this season, the Mets can’t afford Beltran risking further injury. Or eating a lot of time then opting for surgery. And, what is there is a problem with surgery or a longer than anticipated rehab? The extra time gained by doing it now would be essential.

Why push him for no reason?

As far as Delgado is concerned, the Mets aren’t going to offer him arbitration, which he’d obviously accept. They would be better off spending the money elsewhere, and the Mets do have holes that need plugging.

They’d be better off getting something and ridding themselves of the financial obligation. Daniel Murphy, which currently lacks the power needed for first base, could further develop as a hitter for the remainder of this year and next. While Murphy might not be the long-range answer at first base, he plays the position well enough defensively to where the Mets won’t be hurt with him there next season.

With at least two starters, left field, bullpen help and bench depth, first base is NOT an immediate priority. Murphy is good enough to stick there for another year. Plus, his lack of power should, or could, be made up with Beltran’s healthy return, David Wright’s comeback from the power Twilight Zone, and possibly the addition of an outfielder.