Checking Your Oil
"Hey Dad, why do we check the oil?"
"Well son... do you remember how the engine in your first car cracked in half and burned out?"
For this analogy, what is the oil if the Met team is the car? Well a team's engine is powered by pistons and most cars have 4, 6 or 8. Most baseball teams have 5, and we call them starters. The goal is to keep these starters healthy so they can make 30+ starts a year and pitch 6-7 innings a game. You keep the starters healthy by giving them breaks and protecting them with relievers.
As you've heard the Mets have LOTS of relievers right now. Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Taylor Buchholz, Jason Isringhausen, Pedro Beato, Tim Byrdak, D.J. Carasco and Ryota Iggarashi make up an 8 man bull-pen. The issue is that our starters, well.. Pelfrey and Niese... have been burning up too quickly and this has left the bullpen taxed.
The day off helps but I expect another oil swap in the next three days.
Testing The Shocks
Actually, the Mets have been pretty good in this department. Beltran is healthy, Reyes is healthy, Pagan is healthy and I haven't heard Luis Castillo complain about an injury for almost a blessed month (might have to do with him not playing on any one's team). The Mets have more than a few guys who you worry about their legs and their overall leg health. For now... all is quiet and quiet is good.
Replacing Break Pads
The key to defensive driving is your breaking. The Met breaks need work. They have lost at least two or three games because of sloppy defense and mental lapses. The odd thing is that I can't blame any of it on Daniel Murphy. That means that the Mets are getting gaffes from some of the surer hands in the field. (Well... one was Duda, but you get the point.) Terry Collins is supposed to be "Old School" and I hope that means he can get the Mets to be a little better about the basic defensive fundamentals.
Do we have a secret weapon in our arsenal. Can we push the "Go Go" button and flash from last to first on the supernatural chemical power of illegal engine enhancements? Ask Manny Ramirez.
Actually the Mets DO have some not-so-secret weapons they could try:
Jason Bay - Not the secret weapon I'd necessarily bank a season of success on, but he's better than Willie Harris or Scott Hairston. Jason Bay should provide and offensive boost to the lineup when he returns later this month. The key will be, seeing how much power and production he ACTUALLY provides. 2010 numbers will NOT cut it with me, the Mets or the Major Leagues.
Johan Santana - Santana will not be back until June (at the earliest) and that means that he's not a quick fix by any stretch. HOWEVER... if the Mets are still close in June/July then they have a pretty good "Go Go" button to press. The key will be that Santana is too valuable to hurt if 2011 is only a dream. They may want to save their Ace for 2012 and I can't blame them if they'd want to.
Jenrry Mejia - Mejia has only pitched 1 game this season but 6 innings without giving up a run is a pretty good sign. Only 3 hits, 2 walks and 6 K's are also pretty good signs. Mejia is going to come up for the Mets in 2011. The question is, WHEN? The Mets will NOT bring him up for a spot start. Not with Dillon Gee around and pitching pretty well. The Mets will wait until he's ready to hold down a job for keeps. I love the idea of bringing up Mejia when Santana returns. It takes the pressure off both of them and that would be nice.
Matt Harney - The people at MmlB are not going to be happy with me. They only read the blog when I beg them, so I'll just avoid doing that today. Matt Harvey is so far from the majors he doesn't have a head-shot with a team cap. Yet after two FLAWLESS starts in the minors (racking up 17 K's in A+) he looks like he's a pretty good "Fast Track" Candidate. He's 22, pitched in college, has great stuff and is blowing away the talented bats in advanced A. Even the conservative Minor League evaluator would project Harvey to move up to AA in 2011. Might this mean that he could see the Majors in 2011? YES, it might. This isn't Sandy Alderson's M.O. but you have to imagine that if Harvey has this level of success in Binghamton, the Mets will have to think about how close his major league future might be.