Posted on: July 7, 2009 7:15 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2009 7:17 pm
NEW YORK -- The Mets say they don't know when Carlos Beltran will be back. They say they don't know when Jose Reyes will be back.
They have some idea when Carlos Delgado will be back, but they say he likely won't make it back before mid-August, and in any case shouldn't be back before Beltran and Delgado.
Oh, and the Mets say that we really shouldn't expect any problem-solving trades anytime soon.
So here's what the Mets have to offer: hope.
"We're battling," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We hope as guys get back, we're in contention."
He never said how he expects that to happen.
As for manager Jerry Manuel, at least he has stopped saying publicly that his remaining players aren't good enough (they're not, but it doesn't really help when a manager says they're not).
"We might have to play good with this group for a longer time than we anticipated," Manuel said. "That's my responsibility. I've got to find a way for this group to mesh and play good baseball."
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:54 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 1:58 pm
In his first start after the Brewers sent him to the minor leagues, Manny Parra was throwing 84-87 mph and was so unimpressive that one person watching said, "They announced Manny Parra, but it sure didn't look like him."
But Parra rebounded well Tuesday night, going seven innings and allowing just one run for Nashville against an Albuquerque team that featured that other Manny (who, by the way, struck out and grounded out against Parra). The Brewers were encouraged enough that they now think Parra could rejoin their rotation within the next few weeks.
Brewers people hope Parra could follow the same path as Ricky Nolasco, the Marlins opening day starter who seemed to be helped by his two Triple-A starts. Nolasco, who had a 9.07 ERA when he was sent down, has a 2.50 ERA in three starts since returning, including a win at Fenway Park.
The Brewers have made it this far into the season using only five starting pitchers. That will change when Parra's spot comes up on Saturday (the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Seth McClung is the leading candidate for that spot). The Brewers will also need to fill Dave Bush's spot, with Bush now on the disabled list.
While many people in baseball believe that the Nationals should give Mike Rizzo the full-time job as general manager, the team has continued to look at other options, and some people are saying that the Nats owners want "a big name." The Nationals contacted Gerry Hunsicker, the former Astros GM who now works for Tampa Bay, but it appears that he doesn't want the job.
One name that has circulated: Jed Hoyer, who now works as Theo Epstein's assistant in Boston.
Meanwhile, other teams are wondering how much freedom Rizzo has to make trades. The Nationals have spoken to many teams about Nick Johnson, and to a few about Adam Dunn.
While the Rockies' slow start cost manager Clint Hurdle his job, their strong rebound is good news for general manager Dan O'Dowd, whose job now seems much more secure.
The Rockies' rebound has a few other effects, notably allowing other teams to believe that they could make the same sort of move back into the race. The Rockies themselves are no longer seen as a July seller, although sources said they're still trying to move Garrett Atkins.
The problem is that Atkins has a .206 batting average and has also regressed defensively.
"He can't play first base," one scout said. "And he can't play third base, either."
Without Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, the Mets lineup is awful, and they know it. Asked Tuesday night if we should expect more games like Tuesday's (a two-hit Joel Pineiro shutout) or like Monday's (a scrappy 6-4 win), manager Jerry Manuel answered honestly: "That's a good question."
The Mets expect to get all of their injured players back at some point this season, but they can't say exactly when on any of them. While they say there's a chance Beltran (bruised knee) could miss just two weeks, GM Omar Minaya said the All-Star break could be a safer bet.
"If you told me right now we'd have him to start the second half, I'd sign up for that," Minaya said.
Good line from 2,501-win man Tony La Russa, when asked what qualities make a good manager.
"Outstanding players," said La Russa, a fine manager who has also been blessed with many outstanding players.
Among all the impressive Albert Pujols stats, how about this one: In six plate appearances this year with the bases loaded, Pujols is 5 for 5 with three home runs and a sacrifice fly. In those six plate appearances, he has 16 RBIs (out of a possible 24).
For his career, Pujols is a .411 hitter with the bases loaded.
Posted on: March 13, 2009 6:42 pm
MIAMI -- Because Team USA lost the last game in Toronto to Venezuela, the Americans have to open the second round of the World Baseball Classic Saturday night against Puerto Rico.
"I can't wait," Wright said Friday. "There's a lot of bragging rights. But I'm going to wait and do my talking once I see the results. I think it's going to be fun. One of the biggest things that makes this tournament interesting is that you play with rivals and against teammates."
Posted on: September 8, 2008 7:35 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2008 7:35 pm
Now we find out that Wagner isn't returning, not this year and not next year, either. And I'm here to tell you the Mets can still win. No, I'm here to tell you the Mets should still win.
(By win, I mean win the division, not win in October. I'm not that nuts).
1. They're winning without him already. Wagner hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 2. The Mets were 58-52 then, and they were in third place (and they lost the last time he appeared). Since then, the Mets have gone 22-11 and have moved into first place. Not only that, but the Mets bullpen had a 4.21 ERA when Wagner went down. They have a 3.31 ERA since.
2. Carlos Delgado. You can argue about whether Delgado deserves to win the National League's most valuable player award for what amounts to a half-season of excellence. What's certain is that Delgado is playing like an MVP right now. As teammate Damion Easley said, the Mets can jump on Delgado's back and ride him to the playoffs.
3. Johan Santana. Manager Jerry Manuel exaggerated when he said that the Mets are "able to send a good starting pitcher to the mound every day." But the Mets are able to send a great starting pitcher to the mound every fifth day. And some of those days, Santana will pitch so well and for so long that he won't even need a closer.
4. If not quality, then quantity. The Mets are carrying 18 pitchers on their September roster, and on some nights Manuel seems determined to use every one of them. The point is, Manuel can match up as much as he wants. He could even do it in the ninth inning, although for now Luis Ayala is doing a respectable job as Wagner's fill-in.
5. The Nationals, and the Braves. The Mets host Washington and Atlanta this week. They go to Washington and Atlanta next week. Yes, the Nationals are better than they were, but they're also 32 games under .500. As for the fading Braves, they just finished losing five of seven to the Nationals. Enough said.
6. First place. True, it didn't help the Mets to have the lead last September. But you'd still rather be in first, and it's amazing how big a two-game lead can seem as the games count down. Cool Standings had the Mets as a 73 percent chance to win the division as of Monday, and Baseball Prospectus had it even higher, at 77 percent.
So there you have it. Wagner's a big loss, and the Mets now have a big new item on their offseason shopping list.
But they still can win the NL East this year. They still should win it.