Sure, sending Tim Redding out there against the Yankees lineup was a little sadomasochistic. And the lineup has suffered more significant injuries than any team in recent memory. But this team looks like it could certainly use a bat.
Just a couple days ago, this team looked like it could survive with a bandaid like Scott Hairston or Jason Michaels. That was before two shellackings by the top lineup in baseball. That was before they scored one run in 22 straight innings of play. That was before Gary Sheffield got another cortisone shot in his knee, and before the team began to look like a AAA farm squad. That was before AJ Burnett made them look silly with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of one-hit ball.
It must be difficult to be Omar Minaya right now. He’s right about one thing – it’s hazardous to your continued employment as a general manager to act brashly or out of a need to comfort the masses. But on the other hand, the news is not very good right now. Consider:
Carlos Beltran is on crutches and will not be back in 15 days. Minaya said he’d gladly sign up to get his star outfielder back at the beginning of the second half, but that is beginning to sound hopeful.
Jose Reyes is still not running. He’s jogging and taking batting practice, but no explosions. He wants to be back right after the all-star game, too, but remember what happened last time he came back at 85 percent, ramped it up for a base hit, and ended right back on the DL.
Carlos Delgado has positive reports, but there’s no way they are going to let him play any quicker than the original 10-week deadline of July 28. They’ll wait until early August for this trade-deadline acquisition.
John Maine was scratched from his rehab start, got a cortisone shot, and is talking about coming back after the all-star break. That was after his ‘promising’ four-inning rehab start where he struck out one batter. Uh-oh.
Oliver Perez is going to stay in the minors ‘rehabbing’ his ‘injury’ because he’s been terrible. He had an unconscionable five walks in four and one-thirds of an inning in his first crack at AAA, and there’s talk he’ll be a reliever when he returns.
Angel Pagan is a week away from even beginning his rehab, and how much offense the speedster with a career .732 OPS was really going to help, especially since his .662 OPS against lefties is even worse.
So what should Minaya do? He didn’t want to spend Bobby Parnell on Mark DeRosa, so that name is off the list. Hairston and Michaels suddenly seem like too little in the face of the Met’s slugging percentage, which at .399 is the fifth-worst in the National League. And that woeful slugging number includes contributions from Mets currently sitting on the Pavano.
Aubrey Huff seems like a decent choice, as his defense in the outfield is just as bad as his infield defense. If only he wasn’t a lefty, he’d be the target. Also, Baltimore is known for asking a lot in exchange for its veterans. But at least we know he can hit.
The Mets are only 1.5 games out right now, and it looks like 88-90 wins will win the division, so it’s probably not time to panic. But every game that they run this offense out on the field is another game they’ll have to win in the second half. Some move to bolster the offense might be the pick-me-up this dragging team needs, if only because it will show that Minaya is working to try and replace the lost veterans as well.