Morning Grind: Reyes Aftermath Shows Depth Is Still A Problem
It seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. After coming off a miserable season that was marred by injury in 2009, what made that season worse than it should have been was the apparent lack of depth.
Carlos Delgado goes down and is replaced by untested leftfielder Daniel Murphy…
Jose Reyes goes down and is replaced by Alex Cora…
In both instances the downgrades were too much to overcome. Of course you can’t replace a Delgado and a Reyes with the snap of a finger, most teams can’t, but it still showed how woefully lacking the Mets were at two vital positions to the team.
Injuries happen and sometimes there’s nothing any team can do to avoid them, but good teams have capable backup plans especially for positions where they might be vulnerable.
Going into the offseason, the Mets knew that no matter how well Jose Reyes was doing post surgery, he was still an injury risk until he could prove that he can withstand the rigors of playing the field everyday and running the bases at full tilt. How can you go into the 2010 season with a worse backup plan than you had last year at shortstop when you:
A) Knew there could be a strong possibility that Jose Reyes may not be ready for Opening Day?
B) Saw first hand how inadequate Alex Cora was as his replacement, and yet you resigned him after two more surgeries and chronic back problem?
C) Did nothing to address your depth at shortstop at the minor league levels?
How do you ignore all of those things after what happened last season?
How can you not have targeted an Adam Kennedy or Felipe Lopez for example, both of whom recently signed for $1.25 MM, almost half of what the Mets will pay Alex Cora?
Lopez scored 88 runs last season while posting a .383 OBP and .313 batting average, and Kennedy hit 11 homeruns while driving in 63 runs and batting .289. You already know what Alex Cora did…
Sure it’s easy for me to say that now, but shouldn’t that have been the general manager’s job and goal after seeing that we STILL had no capable backup plan for Jose Reyes if he got injured again? Isn’t that what he gets paid for?
Instead of dealing for Chris Carter when they dealt Billy Wagner to the Red Sox, why didn’t they instead insist on a AAAA shortstop instead of a AAAA rightfielder?
These are the things that really bug me because it shows the lack of a plan or vision.
The Mets also failed to sign ONE LEGITIMATE STARTING PITCHER in the offseason, knowing full well that 4/5ths of the rotation was coming off major injuries, surgeries, etc. and were all risks for not pitching the 200 innings the Mets need from each of them.
Our backup plan in the rotation are the same cast of guys we sank with last season; Nieve, Figueroa and Niese.
The Mets had over a dozen players coming back from some sort of injury this spring…
Did Omar Minaya really believe that all of them would come back in pristine condition with no setbacks or relapses?
This reads more like the script from Titanic than it does a plan for success.
You could sit back and feel sorry for the Mets all you wanted last season because the amount of injuries was staggering, but they get no sympathy from me when the same players go down and there is no adequate replacement this season.
They had time… all the time they needed… to address these MAJOR AREAS OF CONCERN.
Nobody plans to fail, but that’s exactly what happens when you fail to plan.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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