With the Mets early, yet annual and customary slide in the standings, along with poor starting pitching (excluding Johan), Mets manager Jerry Manuel said we as fans must be patient, but that he will only give one more opportunity for the current rotation to correct itself before 'debating changes'.
Said Manuel, “I’m at the bridge. If I’m at the bridge, then I’ve got to take some folks with me. That’s kind of how I feel about that. I’ve got to see a little better than what I’m seeing. I might have to say, ‘Hey fella, we might have to do some jumping here, grab life vests or whatever you want to take with you.’ We’ve got to do something.”
General Manuel said he might have to look to either skip some starters turns in the rotation, bring up someone from Buffalo (can you say Freddy Garcia?), or move people to the bullpen. Jerry is bothered by the number of walks his pitchers have allowed (are you listening John Maine and Oliver Perez?), the shaky defense, and the terrible clutch hitting his team has shown thus far:
“We are still, for the most part, going to be somewhat patient,” Manuel said. “That means that at least another turn through and obviously during that period, we are looking for obviously some improvement. It might not manifest itself in wins and losses, but it could manifest itself in stuff, location, executing pitches and those types of things.”
Mets GM Omar Minaya, who didn't accompany the team on their road trip to St. Louis, said he and Manuel have not yet discussed any changes. Minaya went on to say that he didn't expect his staff to struggle so early in the season, and also expects improvement as the season goes on.
When asked, Minaya offered, “You envision them doing better, but I also understand that in a long season, those things are going to happen. There will be periods where some parts of the team will function better than others.”
Continuing, “We feel we have a good team. We just need to let some of our guys play. We’re in April and committed to our guys. Although we haven’t played well in the last couple of games, as a whole, I like our team.”
If Big Pelf and Perez don't pitch better on Saturday and Sunday, more arms might be summoned to help an already overused bullpen.
Jerry Manuel: “We haven’t played our best baseball yet. I think once we go through this period and then a period of us playing very well, then I think you can make a determination of where we fit and where we should be at the end of the season.”
These statements sound the same as those made at the end of 2007, all of 2008, and now 2009. We as fans know it is early in the season, but the problem that isn't being addressed is that the play of this team is a carryover from 2007 and 2008. All these adjustments players claim they have made in the Spring and off season is hogwash. David Wright finally went to RF last night. Yes it was another out by Wright with runners on first and second, but at least he went to RF. Why has it taken until the 16th game for him to do that? Why isn't this team attempting to steal more? Hit and run more? Advance the runners more? These are all fundamental lapses this team has had since the Willie Randolph era. The only difference is in the year.
Source: Jonathan Abrams - Mets Notebook