2011 Bench?

2010 pointed out the Mets lack of a solid overall bench, and the mismanagement of some call ups and how they were used is also a major area of concern for me.

Jesus Feliciano cannot successfully be the fifth outfielder for the Mets. His lack of pop or any kind of doubles power makes him a decent defensive outfielder. Keeping him on the bench instead of a defensive wizard or a great hitter is stupid. He is Luis Castillo minus the walks and hitting.

Henry Blanco is a good backup catcher, and I hope he is resigned. He is great defensively, has experience and can hit somewhat decently. Plus he trumps most other options in the Mets system and would be cheaper then most free agent catchers.

Luis Castillo probably won’t be a Met next year in all likelyhood and thus making Luis Hernandez or a free agent the heir apparent. With a signing of a guy like Orlando Hudson, keeping Luis Hernandez and letting Ruben Tejada get his AB’s in the minors is a much smarter idea.

Chris Carter is a hard worker, seemingly a good teammate and has a cult following and a nickname. He has been the Mets best pinch hitting option in terms of success, and seeing him and his approach out for the Mets next year seems like a good idea. His approach is more conducive to contact then power, and that is a good thing from a pinch hitter

Mike Hessman will probably be either demoted or allowed to leave due to lack of production. The holes in Hessman’s swing are large enough to fit volleyballs through. He was expected to be the right handed pinch hitting option, but his ability to make contact in any form makes him horrible in that role.

A few tough decisions have to be made before the bench can be assessed, but some of them are: Does Lucas Duda deserve to be up on the MLB club? Is Justin Turner a better option at 2nd base then Ruben Tejada offensively? Does Beltran stay, and if he does, does he move to right field? If Beltran goes, who mans RF? Whatever questions need to be answered revolve around Beltran leaving, Bay being capable of playing next year and Ruben Tejada hitting.

The farm system doesn’t have too much variety, with the majority of the Mets better hitters of the LF/1B variety (Nick Evans, Duda, Carter, Hessman) but a major wildcard will be Daniel Murphy and his ability to respectably play 2nd base. If Murph can play 2nd, and spell almost anyone in the infield, he will probably earn a seat on the bench.

It seems weird to make out a bench before you make out a starting lineup, but with underperforming superstars and mostly Quad-A guys on the bench, if the quality of the bench could improve it would give the Mets the ability to rest key players and have better pinch hitting options.

But in the end, not starting two players with OBP’s hovering under or around .300 is probably a good start.