From Left Field: Two Months Of Turnover
Two months into the season, the Mets have used an inordinate amount of players thus far.
This has been due in part to injuries, but it has also been the product of the Mets organization’s unwillingness to deal with mediocrity.
Jack Egbert, the “power-hitting” Jeremy Hefner, Chris Schwinden, Rob Johnson, Omar Quintanilla, Jordany Valdespin, Vinny Rottino and even Kirk Nieuwenhuis all started the year in the minors and weren’t expected to be big-time contributors this season.
Especially in the bullpen, we have seen much turnover. That’s because the bullpen has been the team’s Achilles heel all season.
Michael Baron of MetsBlog reports that the Mets bullpen is 12-14 collectively this year and that this is way too many decisions for a bullpen through the first two months of the season. Too many times, the bullpen has blown a late lead, which resulted in either a late win or, more often, a loss.
Recently, D.J. Carrasco and Manny Acosta were designated for assignment after their abysmal performances. Though both were under contract, the Mets brass grew tired of their underachieving, especially Acosta, who showed flashes last season of being a capable reliever.
Ramon Ramirez appears to be next on the list if he can’t right the ship. Elvin Ramirez is heading to Flushing, and spring training sensation Josh Edgin may get the call soon.
Baseball is a “what have you done for me lately” business. If a player—especially a role player—struggles, there is usually someone waiting in the wings to take his place.
In the case of Ike Davis, the team has been patient, since Davis has shown in the past that he can provide pop in the middle of the order. But as Davis continues to struggle and Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter keep hitting, maybe Davis gets sent down and Lucas Duda plays first base.
I would much rather see the young players—and even the minor league veterans like Rob Johnson and Vinny Rottino—get a chance than see the same guys struggle all year.
The injury bug seems to be biting the Mets, but it’s not as bad as what the Phillies are going through, especially with the most recent injury to Roy Halladay. The Mets have a chance to pull away from the Phillies, despite losing two of three to Philadelphia this week.
Let’s see where this uncanny cast of characters can take us this summer. We are likely to see even more names, like Chris Young and Jenrry Mejia, join the big club at some point.
If everyone pulls their weight, we could be seeing the makings of an improbable playoff run forming before our eyes.
About the Author: Jim Mancari
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.
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Last updated: 05/17/2013
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