As reported by WFAN and now confirmed on Mets.com, manager Jerry Manuel said he doesn’t think Kelvim Escobar’s ailing shoulder will allow him to be the team’s eighth-inning man by Opening Day.
Escobar, who has been limited to just one Major League appearance in the past two years because of right shoulder woes, said he’s been playing catch every other day, but he added that there’s still no timetable for when he’ll return to the mound.
“They don’t want to rush me back, because I’ve already had a couple of setbacks trying to rush myself,” Escobar added. “This time, I want to do things right and make sure.”
Yesterday he was quoted,
“I don’t want to hurt myself — I don’t want to rush,” he said. “Once I get ready, I want to be unstoppable.”
Jerry Manuel feels that Escobar will need to step back from baseball activities and take it easy , and that he won’t be ready to contribute in any capacity — setup role or not — by the start of the season.
“I don’t see it right now,” Manuel said. “Hopefully, I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it.”
I don’t know if this is something you’d call a major blow, because in my opinion I don’t think it is. It just sounds like the Mets are now inclined to be more cautious with their players whereas last season it seemed they were more interested in rushing them back onto the field.
I think that at some point, we will see Kelvim Escobar grab hold of that setup role, but we might have to wait until May before that happens. This probably opens the door for guys like Bobby Parnell, Nelson Figueroa and Fernando Nieve to all make the team to start the season.