We can cry all we want about the latest two losses or we can be proactive and learn from them. I would rather take the high road and implement a few improvements rather than sitting back and pointing fingers and looking for blame. Here are a few fixes that need to be implemented with due haste.
1. David Wright Out As #3 Hitter - Yes it’s hard to fathom and it may come as a big shock to some of you, but at some point you have to ask yourself what your priorities are; winning or keeping up appearances? Wright has failed to deliver while batting in a key position in the lineup and being afforded the best protection the team has hitting behind him. He has always been a worse hitter in the later innings throughout his career and it’s tough to mount any late inning comebacks when your #3 hitter is at his worst rather than his best. He has shrunk under pressure on countless occasions and it’s time to see what someone else can do in his stead.
2. Move Up Ike Davis – It might be too early for this, but it’s worth the gamble to try and find out. So far Ike has performed at an MVP level while being protected by the likes of Jason Pridie, Brad Emaus and Willie Harris. Time to see what he can do with Beltran or Bay hitting behind him. I suggest a 3-4-5-6 that looks like this against RHP: Ike Davis, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, David Wright, and this configuration against LHP: Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay.
3. Farm Out Mike Pelfrey – I mentioned it in my previous post, and the more I think about it the better the idea sounds to me. It may be our one last chance to try and salvage what could still be a good major league career. Pelfrey was rushed to the majors to begin with and was never afforded the care and nurturing one would expect a first round pick to get. He was forced into developing his skills at the major league level and has been unmercifully punished for it by NL East foes who relish the chance to face him. Send him down for a month and get him back on track before his entire career becomes derailed.
4. Get Gee Into The Rotation – Yes, he was rocked hard last night as Ryan Howard’s grand gesture would attest, but one could hardly fault him for trying to do something he had never done before which is to work out of the bullpen. He was setup to fail. Give him a shot at redemption in the rotation where quite frankly he should have been all along. We didn’t need to sign Capuano as a fifth starter, we already had one in Dillon Gee as last September showed.
5. Cut Hairston When Pagan Comes Back – Hairston has already left a bad taste in my mouth and all the spitting in the world cant get rid of it. When Angel Pagan is activated from the DL, keep Jason Pridie as your Endy-Chavez-Type fourth outfielder, and kick Scott Hairston to the curb. We already knew Pride was one of the best defensive outfielders in the system, but we’ve now learned he has surprising pop in his bat like Endy did.
Those five fixes should be no-brainers for the brain-trust running the Mets right now and hopefully they can move swiftly on them and not waste anymore time.
There will be more changes along the way – good teams adjust all season long and no team ever finishes the season with the same group they started with.
One more thing…
Looking down the road, it’s clear that the Mets second base situation is as muddy as it ever was last season. The front office should be on a mission looking for a viable solution until this issue is resolved. Daniel Murphy is a tremendous talent but ill suited for everyday second base duty. Minor league options are few and still years away. If we could simply put second base in more capable hands and use Murphy off the bench in a super-utility role it significantly upgrades what is now a terrible bench. Fix second base and do it now while there’s still a chance for this team to play meaningful baseball.
We still have PLENTY of baseball season left folks. Make adjustments along the way and strive for improvement at every junction. The old adage of “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies. Don’t throw away this season. Continue to test all options and don’t be afraid to give a younger talent an opportunity to show he belongs. Try and compete and play to win, but also try new things and evaluate along the way so you set yourself up for a brighter tomorrow.
I hate when I hear fans simplify this season as either a rebuilding year or a playoff driven year. Why cant we be both? At the same time?