With the start of the second half, the Mets are facing some difficult decisions. Some, but not all, are:
- Do the Mets keep or trade Carlos Beltran? Beltran is having a very productive and inspiring 2011. He has been healthy, has hit well in the clutch, and has played a very respectable RF. As always, Beltran has been classy, and made life easy on new manager Terry Collins by personally going to Collins to accept a position change to RF. If Beltran is traded, he will be sorely missed by we here at 24 Hours...
- Closer by committee? With the abrupt trade of KRod, the Mets will most likely start with Bobby P as the closer. He better not get too comfortable, because Jason Isringhausen is speeding up in his rear view mirror. If both those options prove unsuccessful, the Mets will probably use third option, Pedro Beato. I like the idea of closer by committee. It is best if the team isn't locked into one individual. It will keep the opposition guessing.
- The return of the injured: Jose Reyes and David Wright are due to return on or about the same time; probably around July 22. Wright is supposed to start playing some rehab games tonight. Reyes has been taking light duty at the plate, and fielding some grounders. Will the return of Wright affect the chemistry that has formed since his DL stint? I think it might. The Mets have hit relatively well with 2 outs and runners on. Wright is terrible in those situations, and he needs to cut down on his strikeouts.
- Can the Mets continue at this pace with bad news of Ike Davis' injury? It was made clear yesterday that Fearless Ike will be out three more weeks with a bad ankle after receiving a cortisone injection. Not good news after he was running just the other day with "little" discomfort.
- Will Jose Reyes remain a Met for 2011? I think he will. I also think Elvis will look to sign Jose in the off-season, which is good news regardless of the results.
- Will we see Santana this year? Probably not until August at the earliest, which is OK. It's not about 2011, it's about 2012.
For a team that has been criticized for a poor minor league system, just look who is a Mets product who is playing right now: Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee - not to mention Jason Pridie and others. Are these players good enough to get the Mets to the next level? Only time will tell.
Time to buckle-up for the second half. Will it be as successful as the first half, or will the Mets go into a swoon and fall miserably out of contention? No one knows, and that's why the games are played.