Aug 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #121; Wagner activated.



The 56-64 Mets conclude their series tonight against Atlanta with Johan Santana (13-8, 3.10 ERA) going against rookie Kenshin Kawakami (5-9, 4.13 ERA).

The Mets were torched last night in one of the worst defeats of the season.

Gary Sheffield was in the original line-up but was scratched leading to speculation something might be cooking.

Instead, here’s the line-up against Kawakami:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Johan Santana, LP

NOTES: Lefty reliever Billy Wagner was activated from the 90-day disabled list. Look for the Mets to attempt to make a waiver deal for him. … Santana is 1-1 in two starts against Atlanta this season, but has yet to allow an earned run. … Carlos Beltran is shagging fly balls, but still needs to test his knee running the bases.

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 07

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #109; Wagner, Delgado available.



What we talked about the other day about the Mets looking toward next season seems to be the organization’s thinking with reports they are willing to deal reliever Billy Wagner and first baseman Carlos Delgado before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.

Both players are on the disabled list, Wagner recovering from Tommy John surgery and Delgado from hip surgery, but are expected to be available this month.

WAGNER: Tears with surgery news.

WAGNER: Tears with surgery news.

Should the Mets continue to slide out of contention, the hope is they’ll be able to load up on prospects from a contender. They might not get much, but the Mets need to do something to bolster their minor league system.

Both players should clear waivers considering their salaries (Wagner, $10.5 million and Delgado, $12 million), and neither is expected to be offered arbitration and would leave as free agents.

Because Delgado isn’t as far along, he figures to be harder to deal because he wouldn’t have as much time to show he is healthy.

Tonight it’s Oliver Perez for the Mets, which usually means an uneasy night.

Here’s the line-up:

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

NOTE: Infielder Anderson Hernandez joined the team.

Dec 01

Closer or bridge?

Since most of the Mets’ 29 blown saves came before getting to the closer, I have to wonder which is more important, getting two viable arms for the set-up roles or a closer.

I don’t think Francisco Rodriguez, for the asking price that’s been noted, is worth it. The Mets aren’t salivating for K-Rod or Brian Fuentes,for that matter, the way they did Billy Wagner, yet both could end up getting as much as Wagner if the reported prices are true.

I believe a closer is important, but I think the bridge is more important. Why? Because three innings are more significant than three. I would feel better about the Mets’ bullpen if they were settled in the seventh and eighth innings, but had a question in the ninth, instead of a closer in the ninth but a paper mache bridge.

Sep 23

Overhauling the bullpen

The Mets blew 29 save opportunities so far this season, and with them, perhaps a chance at the playoffs. Adding a top notch closer such as Francisco Rodriguez would improve the bullpen, but not put it over the top.

Billy Wagner blew seven save opportunities, but even worse was the bridge leading up to him. It was more than just a bad season.

Here’s how I see the pen:

-Billy Wagner: Won’t pitch for the Mets again. No brainer. However, he will get paid $11 million by them, and that will inhibit what they do this winter. I don’t see them paying both Wagner and Rodriguez.

-Aaron Heilman: They’ve resisted trading him the past two winters. They should pull the trigger if they get an offer this time. Heilman wants to start and since the Mets won’t give him that opportunity, they should try to get what they can. If they wanted to give Heilman a chance at being the fifth starter, I’d entertain it because it is clear this bullpen thing isn’t working out.

-Scott Schoeneweis: I can’t believe they gave him three years. (I mistakenly said he was done after this year. He’s signed through 2009).

-Joe Smith: Has his moments, both good and bad. Will be brought back.

-Pedro Feliciano: I’ve always been cool on him for some reason, even when he’s pitched well. I think they’ll bring him back.

-Luis Ayala: He saved a few games. Big deal. I don’t see him as the answer at closer. I do see him coming back.

-Carlos Muniz: Wouldn’t miss him.

-Ricardo Rincon: Ditto.

-Duaner Sanchez: He doesn’t have his fastball anymore. Certainly not a set-up man or closer type anymore. Not a loss if they don’t bring him back.

-Brian Stokes: More good appearances than bad. I’d like to see him back.

-Nelson Figueroa: Feel good story early this season. Very hittable.

-Brandon Knight: Pitched decently. Long man?

-Bobby Parnell: Can bring the heat. Let’s see what he can do in spring training.