Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trying not to think about Johan Santana

I don't want to write about Johan Santana. I don't want to think about Johan Santana. Because he can't be replaced.

And I don't want to hear rumors that the Mets can always try to get Roy Halladay at the trading deadline. First of all, as I've written before, why should we think the Mets will open up the pursestrings at the trading deadline when they wouldn't sign Orlando Hudson or Bobby Abreu at bargain rates? Second, two months of Halladay won't make up for losing Santana for a much longer period. Third, as Was Watching points out, if Halladay becomes available, other teams will be interested as well, maybe even the Yankees.

Nobody is too concerned at this point about the battle for the fifth rotation spot since the other four are set. But imagine having to take two from Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, Livan Hernandez and Jon Niese. I would like to see Pedro Martinez pitch for the Mets again at some point for sentimental reasons. But imagine needing him to come back.

Injuries cost the Mets last year, particularly the ones to Billy Wagner and Ryan Church. But every team has injuries. Last year, the Mets' hitting core was completely healthy. In recent years, both Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran have missed time. But last year, Beltran, Delgado, David Wright and Jose Reyes each played in at least 159 games. It was only the seventh time in baseball history that a team had four such players.

Position players can miss long periods of time with injuries. Just as Angel Pagan. And injuries ended up ruining Church's season. But usually their injuries are not that severe. In Carlos Beltran's first three seasons with the Mets, he played in 151, 140 and 144 games before playing in 161 in 2008. You don't want to see Beltran missing 20 games, but if a pitcher gets hurt, you hope it's only two or three weeks.

In 2007, Chris Carpenter pitched Opening Day for the World Champion Cardinals against the Mets. Carpenter never pitched again that year and the Cardinal season was finished.

It was great to see spring training games start last week, but they are a lot less compelling when most of the stars are at the WBC and all that's left is to root for the prospects to do well so you have something to package in case - well, I still don't want to think about it.

If Johan Santana is seriously hurt, are you giving up on the season? Tell us what you think.


Anonymous said...

Here's what I think:

we don't really know what's going on.

No, seriously, we don't. That's just it. We don't know. We don't know if he's seriously not hurt. We don't know what the conversation is behind closed doors. We don't know what Johan is really thinking. We don't know what Jerry is really thinking. We don't know.

What we're seeing is the same bad communication that we saw with Ryan Church, only worse. And we're also seeing meta-analysis of what the org is showing to us based on how badly they did or didn't screw up the Ryan Church scenario (depending on your perspective).

You're 4000% right that he's not replaceable.

I will admit that I have zero expectations for this season so I have nothing to give up.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Mets didn't cash in on some of those bargain players. Imagine how much better they would have been if they had Abreu in right, Church in left, Orlando Hudson at second, Juan Cruz in the bullpen, and Ben Sheets ready for the stretch run in August.

For for about $20 million more than what they are spending now.

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