Jun 16

Where’s the biggest hole?

I see where the tabs are calling for Omar Minaya to make a trade. So, what else is new? They are always calling for Minaya to make a trade.

But, which hole do you fill?

Do you go after a first baseman to replace Carlos Delgado and the impotent tandem of Fernando Tatis/Daniel Murphy? Delgado says he’ll be back this year, but there are no guarantees.

How about a shortstop to replace Jose Reyes, who apparently isn’t any closer to returning now than he was when he was placed on the disabled list? Alex Cora won’t hurt the Mets defensively and so far hasn’t been a offensive liability. Cora has been a fulltime player, but he won’t give them the spark of Reyes.

There’s always pitching. John Maine and Oliver Perez are on the disabled list. Mike Pelfrey has been erratic. They’ve gotten a lot from Livan Hernandez, but how long will that continue? They can’t count on big numbers from Tim Redding.

The Mets could contend with what they have at first and shortstop, but not if their pitching collapses. If they make a trade, and I believe they have to, it has to be adding pitching. I just don’t know if they have the chips to make a trade.

Jun 05

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #53; facing the Nationals.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

CHAT ROOM vs. Nats.

The sluggish Mets are in DC, armed with Tim Redding, in an attempt to stop their slide at three games.

The field is a mess in DC, but the game is supposed to start on time.

Redding’s first start since coming off the DL was a good one in LA, but he hasn’t shown much since.

The Mets are a hurting group, relying way too much on their role players. And, it doesn’t help that David Wright is in a slump.

June is a critical month for the Mets in that half their core is missing and the schedule will get tougher. If they can hold it together they should be in decent position come July.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Fernando Tatis, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Fernando Martinez, LF
Brian Schneider, C
Tim Redding, P

NOTEBOOK: No timetable for Jose Reyes’ return. … Gary Sheffield rests tonight and will rest Sunday. … Jerry Manuel said it was likely (didn’t say definite) that Fernando Martinez will stay when Ryan Church is activated from the disabled list.

May 24

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #43; going for the Fenway sweep.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I have to be honest with you. Never would I have expected the Mets to be on the verge of sweeping the Red Sox. Honestly, I thought it would be the other way.

Tim Redding vs. Tim Wakefield. Redding will try to make his second straight strong start since rejoining the team.

The Mets are already guaranteed coming home no worse than 5-5. I would like to think they have weathered the storm.

May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 19

It’s one thing to lose ….

…. but it is another to give away a game like the Mets did last night. Inexcusable. If Jerry Manuel didn’t read them the riot act then he’s not doing his job as manager.

How in the hell do you miss third base? All those missed opportunities …. they could have won the game three times over. It’s one thing to blow a good pitching performance from Johan Santana. I’m used to that. It’s another to blow one from Tim Redding. When will they get another one?

In the original post I said the Mets’ weaknesses would be exposed during the rest of this road trip. Well, some got exposed last night.

Ryan Church got a couple of hits. Maybe he’s showing signs. But, the baserunning was unforgivable.

Jeremy Reed, of course, is not the answer at first base. I don’t know who is, but why not give Daniel Murphy a shot. He can’t do any worse.

All teams have stinkers, but last night was maddening because we’ve seen it all too often from the Mets where it all unravels.

And, the pitching match-ups for the rest of this series favors the Dodgers. Then they go to Boston. They are on the verge of giving back all they’ve accomplished the past 10 days.