May 06

New poll: No real surprises so far; expect more change.

Thirty-one games into the season and the Mets are 13-18, 8 ½ games behind Philadelphia. Only four teams in the majors have a worse record; only three have fewer home victories than the six scratched out by the Mets.

REYES: Flying away with a bunch of others.

About right? Could be worse? Should be better? Post your thoughts and vote in the new poll.

The Dodgers are in for three this weekend starting tonight, and the remainder of the month features three games each against Colorado, Yankees and Cubs on the road, and three at home against Philadelphia.

There’s potential for things to fall further apart before June. They could easily be double-digits behind the Phillies by the time they come in at the end of the month.

Are you surprised by any of this?

If I had been given five games below .500 at this point were it offered in spring training, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have taken it considering the questions the Mets faced.

Things have unfolded close to expectations when you look at the pitching questions; Jason Bay’s injury; the hole at second base; and concerns surrounding the health of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.

Realistically, the Mets are about where they should be with their deficiencies. Going in we were told this season would be about making evaluations in preparation for the building that would begin in 2012.

Things would change once they cleared the deadwood off the books.

When I scan the Mets’ depth chart, it isn’t hard to envision up to a dozen new names next spring with the following gone: Reyes, Beltran, Ronny Paulino, Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Isringhausen (at his age it wouldn’t be a surprise), Ryota Igarashi, Tim Byrdak, Chin-lung Hu (he could be gone when Angel Pagan returns this weekend), Willie Harris and Scott Hairston.

That’s half the team.

Some, like Beltran, Rodriguez and Reyes could go based on financial considerations, while others like Isringhausen, Young, Capuano, Harris and Hairston could leave because of age and other options. Still others would go because of talent.

Several of these players could help contenders at the trade deadline.

This was to be the year of change, and there’s a lot that could still happen. If it does and the Mets are still five games under at the end of the season, that should be looked at as a plus.

 

Apr 19

Emaus DFA’d; tonight’s line-up.

The Brad Emaus era didn’t last long, as the Mets gave their Rule 5 second base man just 37 at-bats  (.162 with one RBI) to prove himself. Emaus must go through Rule 5 waivers before being offered back to Toronto for half the claiming price worth $25,000. If he clears, the Mets could trade for him and send him to the minor leagues.

EMAUS: We hardly knew you.

I don’t believe the Mets gave Emaus a fair enough shake, with 37 at-bats barely a glimpse. The decision tends to refute the notion the Mets are using 2011 as a throw-away, stop-gap season.

Replacing Emaus will be Justin Turner, who was hitting .300 (12-for-40) with one RBI at Triple-A Buffalo.

The promotion of Turner could open a second base platoon with Daniel Murphy.

Turner is in the line-up, batting eighth in tonight’s game against Houston.

 

Here’s the line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS

Josh Thole, C

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Ike Davis, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Willie Harris, LF
Justin Turner, 2B

Jon Niese, LP

The Mets must make a roster move Thursday to clear room for outfielder Jason Bay’s activation from the disabled list. Most likely reliever Ryota Igarashi will be send down.

 

Apr 11

Bullpen implodes again; Isringhausen here.

We knew going in one of the Mets’ weaknesses was their bullpen, and less than 10 games into the season it has been true to form.

IZZY: Will he help?

A team looking to take the next step does not blow a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. That’s what happened Sunday to the Mets, who responded by designating for assignment Blaine Boyer and optioning outfielder Lucas Duda and bringing up relievers Jason Isringhausen and Ryota Igarashi.

“The bullpen has been inconsistent, and that’s probably as positive an adjective as I can give,’’ said GM Sandy Alderson.

A better adjective is horrible, as the pen has given up 63 runners in 34.1 innings, many of which have scored. Over the last 11 innings, the pen has walked 11, and given up 10 hits and nine earned runs.

And, with the rotation not going long innings – Chris Young being the exception yesterday throwing seven – a losing record can be expected.

You can’t blame Alderson for taking Boyer over Isringhausen to start the season because he was caught in a contractual corner. Asking Isringhausen to say behind for extended spring training was a gamble worth taking. When you’re not dealing from a position of strength, you do what you can.

The Mets shopped in the bargain basement for relievers this winter spending just $4 million, and with that approach, what has happened is not a surprise. D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz and Boyer have not been effective.

I don’t know if Isringhausen will be that big of a difference, but he couldn’t hurt. At this point, anything might be a help.

 

UP NEXT: The importance of this week.

 

Mar 18

Could Perez be axed today?

The plug could be pulled on the Oliver Perez soap opera today should he be hammered by the Atlanta Braves. Even a mediocre outing might be enough to end the drama. Things are still undecided at second base so I expect Luis Castillo to stick around for at least the weekend.

Dillon Gee and bullpen candidates Ryota Igarashi and Taylor Tankersley were among this morning’s roster cuts. The demotions also included Boof Bonser, Dusty Ryan, Raul Chavez, Russ Adams and Jason Pridle were also assigned to the minor league camp.

No real surprises.

Gee was going to the minor league camp, and I’m giving the edge to Chris Capuano over Pat Misch in the competition for the fifth start.

 

Feb 25

Mets intrasquad game focus at second

Don’t read too much from the early glowing reports about Ruben Tejada swinging the bat well in Port St. Lucie. Don’t forget, until now it has simply been batting practice. Today, it will be an intrasquad game and then the early days in the exhibition schedule.

Of course, it is better than him not hitting.

The Mets have four second base candidates, with the speculated platoon of Daniel Murphy and Brad Emaus each starting today. Then there is Luis Castillo and Justin Turner, the latter with two options remaining which makes him the odd-man out.

Regarding Tejada, the plans are for him to play shortstop at Triple-A Buffalo. With the Mets having other second base options, that’s important because of the uncertainty regarding Jose Reyes’ future.

If the Mets sign Reyes to an extension, then Tejada could move to second if the others flame out or he could be used in a trade. If Reyes leaves, then it is important to have a ready alternative.

TODAY’S PITCHERS: Josh Stinson and D.J. Carrasco will be the respective starters, followed by: Taylor Tankersley, Mike O’Connor, Manny Alvarez, Tim Byrdak, Ryota Igarashi and Blaine Boyer.