A Stack of questions

Posted on July 28, 2010 by

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While the offense finally clicked, and Jonathon Niese posted another quality outing in a much needed 8-2 victory on Tuesday night over the St. Louis Cardinals, more questions seem to be emanating from Citi Field now more than ever.

Yes, Tuesday’s win over Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright was encouraging. It was great to see Jeff Francoeur bust out his bat and belt a key three-run home run that broke the game open in the fourth inning. It was also good to see Carlos Beltran get two key hits off a guy, Wainwright, who has likely caused him nightmares (his last at-bat against Wainwright was the time Beltran was caught looking to end the 2006 NLCS).

It was good to see Jose Reyes, who hit a home run, finally back in tip-top shape. Luis Castillo even looked like he had some spring in his game with two hits.

While those moments should serve as a confidence boost to a team in turmoil, several questions still have to be addressed in the coming days.

What is up with Jason Bay?

There are two parts to this question, the first being: How serious is Bay’s concussion?

Bay was held out of Tuesday’s game with a mild concussion. Bay got the concussion as a result of going face-first into the left-field fence at Dodgers Stadium on Friday night. While he remained in the game, and actually had a clutch three-RBI double in the game, and played the next two days before complaining of concussion-like symptoms on the flight back home. At this point Bay is considered day-to-day.

However, the Mets have had a bad history with players getting concussions(see David Wright and Ryan Church) and not being the same afterwards. Should the Mets play it cautious, Bay may end up on the DL. With the way Bay has been playing, maybe this is not such a terrible thing.

The second question: At what point do you concede and just brush off Bay as being any factor this year?

Remember Beltran’s first year with the Mets and how disappointed he left Mets fans? Well maybe Bay can make up for it next year, much the same way Beltran did in his second year with the Mets. I don’t want to write off Bay for this year, but when do you call a spade a spade?

The bottom line, injury or not, Bay has been a disappointment.

Will the Mets make a move, any move, before the deadline?

Daily News Mets beat writer Andy Martino suggest  the Mets will likely stand pat and make no trades as the deadline approaches.

Are you kidding me? While I know the Mets are no lock for the playoffs, and any potential deal could come off as desperate just for the sake of trading, but nothing?

I know talks have stalled with the Royals, but someone needs to be acquired to add some juice to the squad. Get either a decent starter or some bullpen relief.

Yes, I understand Roy Oswalt, and perhaps even, Ted Lilly maybe too pricey, but some sort of pitcher could do some help. If the Mets are committed to having Hisanori Takahashi in the rotation, than at least go out and get a bullpen arm like a Kevin Gregg or an Octavio Dotel.

I have long believed the Mets can’t make a push toward the playoffs with the way the team is currently set up. Some sort of reinforcement will at least add some new life into the club while also appeasing the fan base.

What exactly is Oliver Perez’ role with the Mets?

Daily News writer John Harper wrote a column on Tuesday saying the Mets can send a message if they release Oliver Perez. I agree wholeheartedly with Harper.

While he is making an obscene amount of money, there is just no room for Perez and his stubbornness in the clubhouse. He is rotting with the Mets and it appears there will be no more reclamation stories as he has worn out his welcome.

When, if ever, will the Mets cut their losses and realize they made a terrible investment? The Mets thin bullpen could use all the help they can get. If the Mets can get rid of Perez, they can kill two birds with one stone: getting rid of the headache Perez causes in the lockeroom and getting a dependable arm to trust in the bullpen.

Is the staff really safe?

After a disastrous road trip, many felt heads would roll when the Mets got back in town on Monday. However, Jerry Manuel and the staff, most notably Howard Johnson, have been given a stay of execution. Manuel, oddly enough, was not in the dugout for Tuesday’s win as bench coach Dave Jauss replaced him after Manuel was suspended for one game for his outburst against an umpire. After the west coast rod trip, maybe Omar Minaya wanted the team to perform back in familiar setting before making any decisions. Road trip, be it the excuse, or not, I think this team needs a shakeup and staying par for the course will likely not do any good.

Those are just the burning questions that need to be addressed as the Mets hit the stretch run. Other questions that also need to be monitored over the next few days include:

Is Josh Thole ready for Prime Time now that Rod Barajas is on the disabled list?

Is Mike Pelfrey going to pitch like he did in April or May or will he pitch like the scared pitcher that was exposed in most of June and July?

For now, let’s hope there is some carryover from Tuesday’s win. As I mentioned above, there were lots of encouraging signs of the Mets breaking out of their funk. Tuesday was a step in the right direction, but some areas have to be righted if this ship has any sights set on the playoffs.

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Posted in: Perspectives