|Mets offense reaching desperation stage|
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on June 21, 2009
The Mets have struggled to score runs, and it certainly hasn't helped that they've been without Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes. But then again, it didn't help that they had a few below-average positions offensively to begin with.
Outside of first, short, third and center, didn't the Mets need to desperately upgrade somewhere -- anywhere -- to been seen as legitimate contenders in the National League East? I'm not just talking about Gary Sheffield upgrade but a high-end upgrade.
Bob Klapisch writes the Mets offense has reached code red-stage desperation.
It's an inspiring scenario for Met fans - the bolstered lineup makes a second-half charge straight to the playoffs - but in its current state, Jerry Manuel's team remains mired in mediocrity.
The manager openly wonders about the "fatigue" factor that's wearing on Wright and Carlos Beltran. There's no help in sight, not unless general manager Omar Minaya can pluck, say, Adam Dunn from the Nationals before the trading deadline.
But with one crisis extinguished, another one comes roaring to the forefront. How much longer before Wright and Beltran crack from having to carry the lineup?
Beltran, in particular, appears close to breaking down, revealing that he's undergoing an MRI on his right knee Monday. The ramifications are, of course, beyond critical. Manuel says, "Carlos assures me he can play," but you can flip the calendar to 2010 if the center fielder is out for any length of time.
As it is, the Mets' lack of offense is at code red. They're 10th in runs in the National League in June, and tied for last in home runs. Take Beltran out of this equation and there's no reason to believe the Mets won't be caught by the Braves.
A lot of publications, including Sports Illustrated, picked the Mets to go a long way in the postseason. I was a little skeptical about them. I understand their rotation is fronted by Johan Santana, but in a seven-game series, both Oliver Perez and John Maine would likely start two games for them. That shows the lack of depth in their rotation.
But the offense was where things could've gotten messy in a hurry. Luis Castillo has had a bit of a turnaround this season, even if he isn't hitting the ball with authority (.321 slugging percentage). Other than that, the Mets are stocked with mediocre types like Daniel Murphy, Fernando Tatis and Ryan Church taking at-bats.
It seems as if general manager Omar Minaya is in a position to justify his job. The Mets have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but they have collapsed epically the last two seasons. Their rotation has never been fixed despite the money, and the team still relies on too many spare parts.