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After Gee’s injury, should the Mets turn to Harvey, Batista or door number three?

ESPN New York reports that Dillon Gee will undergo surgery on Friday to repair arterial damage in his right shoulder to prevent additional blood clots from forming. According to the report, “No longer-lasting ramifications for Gee in terms of his health or his career after the procedure is performed are expected”

That’s definitely good news. I’m sure we all hope the procedure goes well.

Matt Harvey’s 2011 Topps Heritage minor league edition baseball card

However, according to the report, it will be six to eight weeks before Gee would be ready to resume throwing. He might be able to return in late September, but that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The Mets had planned to use Miguel Batista when there was hope that Gee’s absence would only cause him to miss a few starts… now that he’s potentially going to be out for the rest of the season, they must be re-evaluating that decision.

The in-house options are underwhelming. Batista, Chris Schwinden and Jeremy Hefner have all struggled when the Mets tried them after Mike Pelfrey‘s season-ending injury. Matt Harvey has improved recently, but he’s had mixed results at the Triple-A level and team officials have doubts about whether he’s ready to “thrive” at the major league level.

For the 2012 Mets, Harvey is easily the best in-house option. He has the biggest potential upside, and it’s unlikely he could perform worse than Batista. But for the Mets’ long-term goals, I have to wonder if promoting Harvey is a good idea. I’d like to see him dominate at the Triple-A for a long enough period of time to force a callup, rather than watch the Mets turn to him out of desperation.

I don’t envy Sandy Alderson the decision. I suppose he could look at the trade market, but I’m sure any available decent starters will command a premium considering how many teams think they’re in a playoff race and how many could use more pitching.

At least bullpen help is on the way – Josh Edgin will take Gee’s roster spot and give the Mets a second lefty to compliment Tim Byrdak. Hopefully Terry Collins will be more comfortable using him than he was with Robert Carson or Justin Hampson.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Blood clots, blowouts and Bryce Harper’s gold shoes…

Tuesday morning, Tony LaRussa‘s All-Star Game snub of R.A. Dickey still seemed like the biggest story around the Mets’ pitching staff…. at least until word broke that Dillon Gee was hospitalized after having surgery for a blood clot in his right shoulder.

Dillon Gee’s 2011 Allen & Ginter baseball card

Mets manager Terry Collins told the NY Post that he was “very, very worried about” Gee, and thanks to Toby Hyde’s research on other pitchers with blood clots, it’s easy to see why. Adam Rubin spoke to a medical expert who attempted to explain the medical issues involved, and I’m also worried for Gee. I’m glad the doctors were able to catch it before it became a more severe problem, and I hope that Gee is able to make a full recovery.

Gee’s trip to the disabled list offers Collins a chance to give Miguel Batista more innings, and that’s exactly what he plans to do. Better to run the 41-year-old poet out there for a spot start or two than to force Matt Harvey to the majors before he’s ready, I suppose.

There was an actual game Tuesday night amid all the hoopla in Kansas City. (To hear some columnists, not to mention Bud Selig and player’s union head Michael Weiner, you’d think it was a “let’s gang up on Robinson Cano” festival. While I don’t support the people who made nasty comments to Cano’s family, I hardly think anyone needs a reason to boo a Yankee – and leaving the home team player out of the home run derby can’t have seemed like a good idea to anyone other than Cano.)

Continue reading “Blood clots, blowouts and Bryce Harper’s gold shoes…”

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And that’s why they play the game…

I did not expect the Mets to find a way to score three runs on just three hits.

I did not expect Miguel Batista to pitch seven shutout innings.

I did not expect Frank Francisco to get a save chance tonight.

did expect him to find a way to blow it once he did.

The Mets defied my expectations at every turn. (Though new “Frankie” seemed like he wanted to live up to them.)

This is why the 2012 Mets are fun to watch, even though they sometimes manage to frustrate.

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Link: Mets Reliever Is Poetry in Motion


Miguel Batista does some pre-game throwing in the outfield at Citi Field last season (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Brian Costa wrote about Mets reliever Miguel Batista yesterday for the Wall Street Journal.

While Batista is a longshot to make the team if everyone is healthy, he might be the most interesting member of the pitching staff not named R.A. Dickey.

When he comes in to pitch for Aguilas Cibaenas, his winter league team, the stadium public address announcer says, “Now pitching, the poet, Miguel Batista.” … The nickname stems from what is a unique distinction among ballplayers: Batista, 41, is a published author. He has written a poetry book and a novel about a serial killer. And while he attempts to secure one of the last spots in the Mets’ bullpen, he is also writing the final chapters of a second novel, about a secret government weapon project gone awry.

If you’re interested, Batista’s novel is still in print and available from One Amazon Marketplace seller has a copy of Batista’s book of poetry, and he contributed a short story to a collection of original sports fiction published by ESPN last year. (I’ll probably give the short story collection a shot, but the novel is a bit more expensive than I can justify and my Spanish is not really good enough to appreciate poetry.)


Posted in Baseball Scorekeeping, Uncategorized

I really should be happier about Jose Reyes’ batting title

The 2011 Mets season is over. The final game was supposed to a chance to cheer for Jose Reyes as he tried to win the first National League batting title in franchise history.

Instead, it became the game where Reyes vanished in the first inning, Mike Baxter hit his first major league home run and Miguel Batista pitched his first shutout since 2006.

Reyes got a hit in his first at-bat to raise his average to .337, and then he was out of the game before most people realized what was happening. He wanted to protect his chance at winning the batting title.

“I know it’s kind of tough,” Reyes said, as reported by the New York Times. “I wanted to stay in the game. But they have to understand, too, what’s going on. They have to feel happy about it if I win the batting title. I do it for the team and for the fans, too.”

And it worked… Ryan Braun went 0-for-4 to finish the season at .332.

I guess I’m happy about it, but I’m glad I didn’t give in to a last-minute impulse to go to the game. I wanted Reyes to play nine, show faith in his abilities and let us have one last memory of his great season (and perhaps his Mets career.)

Now we have months of off-season speculation to endure, with people like Mike Francesa doing their best to make sure we don’t have much reason to hope.

Here’s one last scorecard: Continue reading “I really should be happier about Jose Reyes’ batting title”