Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Injuries & Poor Performance Leave The Mets With No Where To Turn

Photo Courtesy Of Michael Baron
For anyone watching the ninth inning of last night's game, I salute your if you didn't throw your remote through the TV. Willie Harris, who recently criticized the Mets' clubhouse by calling it segregated, collected only his second hit since April 20th. With the top of the order due up behind him, Harris promptly took off in a futile attempt to steal second base, only to be thrown out by close to three steps.

Willie Harris is not a major league caliber baseball player. For that matter, neither are Chin-lung Hu or Scott Hairston. Yet, they not only see pinch hit opportunities in some of the game's biggest moments, but often times find themselves starting in order to give other, more credible, players a rest. These players simply have no place with the big league club should Sandy Alderson really consider his team a threat in the NL East.

The problem remains, there is no one to replace them with. A quick look at the Mets Triple-A affiliate doesn't yield any easy fixes. Lucas Duda hasn't proven he can hit major league pitching and is an absolute liability in the field. Promoting Kirk Nieuwenhuis would be a disservice to his development because he would not see regular playing time. Where does Sandy go next?

To a lesser extent, the Mets pitching staff yield a similar burden due to injury.  Due to the recent demise of Chris Young, it appears Dillon Gee will get his well deserved chance to pitch at the major league level. While I am happy for him, his addition to the rotation means that the Mets may not have a starter who could break into the rotation in either Atlanta or Philadelphia.

With the injury to Jenrry Mejia, and Johan Santana no where to be found, they now find themselves only one injury away from using legitimate minor league talent on a regular basis. As bad as things are right now, the thought of having D.J. Carrasco toe the rubber every five days doesn't exactly do much to calm my nerves.

Unfortunately, it appears that Sandy Alderson has not given Terry Collins the tools necessary to compete. Any manager, particularly in the National League, is going to use the majority of his squad as he navigates through a game. In Collin's case, that means turning to players in the twilight of their mediocre careers who no longer possess the skills necessary to regularly contribute at the major league level.

Even worse, for as poorly as the Mets have played and as difficult as they've been to watch, there are only another injury or two from being in total shambles. As a result, there will be no easy answers for this group moving forward...only some really, really tough decisions to be made.

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