Marty Noble of MLB.com, reported late last night that free agent first baseman Carlos Delgado has postponed his decision to begin playing baseball due to an undisclosed setback.
The Mets’ interest in Carlos Delgado, an interest that was not shared by all members of the club hierarchy after the season, may begin to wane now that the free agent has postponed his return to active baseball. Two members of the Mets’ staff have said that Delgado won’t resume playing until the middle of next month.
Noble writes that no specific reason was given for the delay, but one of the people aware of the change said on Tuesday night that Delgado probably isn’t yet physically ready to play. As recently as Dec. 15, general manager Omar Minaya said that the club planned to monitor Delgado when he began to play in the Puerto Rican winter league in his native country that night.
Delgado’s new timetable for beginning baseball activities is expected to be around mid January or less than 4 weeks before the start of Spring Training.
Just last week, Omar Minaya told reporters that the 37 year old Delgado was being strongly considered for 2010 and that he was monitoring the situation.
Delgado underwent surgery on his right hip in May and planned to return last season, but suffered a setback which he never recovered from.
My biggest fear this season is all the other players the Mets are banking on this season that are coming back from season ending injuries and in some cases surgery. Chief among them is ace Johan Santana who had surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. Last year at this time, John Maine was also recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his shoulder. He was beset by pain and fatigue right from the start of the season and ended up nearly missing the entire season. Maine is another part of the rotation that is clearly not out of the woods yet as far as being an injury concern, as even when he did return he never really aired it out and was on a strict pitch count. Mum is the word on Oliver Perez who also ended the season on the DL without so much as one update on his current condition.
Getting back to Delgado and the first base situation, it’s becoming more apparent that Dan Murphy will be the everyday first baseman in 2010. The Mets have barely shown any interest in other free agents including Adam La Roche, Mark DeRosa or Nick Johnson who signed with the Yankees last week.
The Mets have high hopes for Ike Davis, but then again the Mets always have high hopes for their prospects. Nick Evans, who was the heir apparent and ranked 4th best prospect in the organization at the start of 2009, is no longer even ranked and has become a distant memory.
Without Delgado, the Mets used Daniel Murphy in the cleanup spot last season as well as the other power spots batting 5th and 6th. In 275 at-bats batting 4-5-6, he hit just seven homeruns. After batting .313 with a .397 OBP in 2008, Murphy slipped to a .266 average and a .313 OBP in ’09. He batted .223 with a .267 OBP against left handed pitching.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Mets-mess…