Nov 29

I can hardly contain myself.

Read the news today about how the Mets could be players for 38-year-old reliever Octavio Dotel. A journeyman of all journeymen pitchers who has pitched for a dozen teams, including once the Mets.

If the Mets were a contending team with a deep bullpen, Dotel might have been a good fit. But, they aren’t a contender and their bullpen is shoddy at best and Dotel is nothing more than a bit part.

Surely, the Mets can scoop something off the reliever garbage heap that Dotal.

Also a bit of interesting news is that Pat Misch signed with Philadelphia. There was somebody always better – and that’s a relative term when it comes to the Mets’ rotation – but Misch always gave a solid effort and usually strong innings whenever given the chance.

May 26

Dickey injured; DL expected.

The news isn’t encouraging for R.A. Dickey, who traveled back to New York this evening with crutches and a boot on his right foot after injuring his Achilles heel.

DICKEY: DL expected.

Dickey described the feeling as if he stepped on a spike, and the club is expected to place him on the disabled list tomorrow. Pat Misch, who hasn’t pitched well since being promoted, is Dickey’s logical replacement in the bullpen.

Another possibility is Chris Schwinden, but manager Terry Collins didn’t mention D.J. Carrasco, who opened the season on the 25-man roster.

Depth was always going to be an issue in the rotation, and the Mets are now without two of their Opening Day starters in Dickey and Chris Young. Don’t forget, the team is also minus Johan Santana, and Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese haven’t been effective.

 

Apr 16

Chris Young should sit tomorrow.

Chris Young said his biceps tendinitis is better, but not completely. He told manager Terry Collins yesterday he’s not sure how long he can go Sunday.

YOUNG: Has achy shoulder.

“There’s no guarantees on how it could feel Sunday,’’ Young told reporters in Atlanta.

Given that, what is the holdup in announcing a call up?

Considering the fragile make-up of the Mets’ rotation, Young’s injury history and how early it is in the season, there’s no reason Young should even think about starting tomorrow. It is a no-brainer to push him back, if not put on the disabled list.

The Mets held back Triple-A lefty Pat Misch from his last scheduled start, or they could opt for Dillon Gee, who would be going on his normal turn Sunday.

Friday’s rainout helped in that it gave the overtaxed bullpen a night of rest, but it will only be temporary with today’s doubleheader, which features reliever D.J. Carrasco starting game one – five innings would be a miracle – and Mike Pelfrey, who has had a slow start going in the second game.

Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Bay, on the DL with a strained rib cage, could play in a minor league rehab game today. Bay’s original return date was pushed back to April 26, but these are the Mets, so always bet the over on injury return.

 

Mar 16

Mets’ roster has remaining issues

HARRIS: Will play is Beltran opens on DL

With spring training down to a couple of weeks after today’s loss to Minnesota, the Mets are still trying to final situations in right field, second baseball, the bullpen and in the rotation.

 

All of these will be filled with those players already in camp.

RIGHT FIELD

Carlos Beltran has been cleared to resume baseball activities, but probably won’t play until next week, which would leave a week of games until Opening Day. However, with the Mets wanting to ease him back, it’s realistic to figure he might not be ready.

Currently, he’s limited to batting practice and doesn’t know when he’ll test his knees by playing the field or running the bases.

Should Beltran open the season on the disabled list, Willie Harris would probably get the start, but manager Terry Collins could go to a platoon system with Scott Hairston.

That would make Lucas Duda the odd-man out because the Mets want him to get consistent at-bats. The way he could stick would be if Beltran were to open on the disabled list. Beltran says he’ll be ready, but the time frame suggests otherwise.

SECOND BASE

Nobody wants Luis Castillo, but he’s playing the best offensively and is not ahead of the others defensively. Castillo can turn the double play better than the others but has limited range. It’s not totally out of the question Castillo would stick if the Mets find it distasteful to eat his $6 million contract.

Luis Hernandez has emerged, perhaps as the front-runner as has been reported, primarily because nobody has stepped to the forefront. Hernandez can play the position and isn’t a liability with the bat, but it’s not as if he’s blowing away the field.

Ideally, they would have liked for Daniel Murphy to grasp the position defensively, but that hasn’t happened, especially when it comes to the double play. Murphy should still make the team as a left-handed bat off the bench.

The Mets like the potential of Brad Emaus, but he’s not hitting and hasn’t made up for it with his glove. An Emaus-Murphy platoon isn’t out of the question should the Mets not want to return the Rule 5 Emaus to Toronto.

The only sure thing at second base is the return of Justin Turner to the minor leagues because he has remaining options.

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Dec 23

Have to stop this kind of thinking

I think about whom the Mets might fill out their rotation with next summer, Pat Misch or Dillon Gee, or if they’ll sign Jeff Francis or Chris Young. I wonder if they’ll pull a deal a sign Matt Garza.

I think about all those things and wonder how they could possibly overtake the Phillies or even compete for a wild card. I concede that .500 is about the best they can hope for with that rotation. Maybe a little better if Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay come back healthy.

Then, I realize 2011 isn’t the objective, it isn’t the prize. I realize 2011 is a sacrificial lamb. The goal is to improve, be competitive and fuel your imaginations for a winter of spending next Christmas.

The future is not now.