Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
I find that on off days I like to reevaluate where the Mets stand in the baseball world.
Even thought they haven’t played inspiring baseball in their last two games, the Mets have put themselves in a nice position this month.
They are 2.5 games behind the Braves in the East and are leading the Wild Card chase.
Honestly, how many of you truly thought they would be in this position on June 21st at the end of May?
I know the end of the Yankees series was disappointing, particularly offensively. That being said, I don’t believe the Mets recent winning streak was an aberration. I still feel confident about this team.
Expectations For The Upcoming Home Stand
There is cause for relief in the fact that the Mets will be returning to Citi Field where they own a 24-10 record.
The next six games will be no cake walk, however. Detroit and Minnesota are a combined 78-59. They are fighting each other for first place in the AL Central and have established themselves as perennial playoff contenders.
It is time my friends. We need to raise our expectations a bit.
Based on the fact that the Amazin’s play outstanding at home and they are a confident bunch, I expect the Mets to go 4-2 on this home stand.
Jennry Mejia Down, Bobby Parnell Up
Last week, I wrote about Mejia and how he was being developed on the major league roster.
Apparently, those lessons have been learned and the Mets have decided its time to lengthen him out and have him develop his secondary pitches in the minors.
Bobby Parnell will take his place even though he hasn’t exactly burned it up in Buffalo. He comes to the Mets with a 4.24 ERA in 40.1 innings.
The Mejia situation is another example of why the Mets appear to be without a plan when it comes to certain situations.
Is this a case of Jerry Manuel holding on to him as long as he could until Omar Minaya finally said enough?
It’s not like Mejia’s role has changed over the last few weeks. Why now? A complete head scratcher in my book.
Here’s what everyone involved had to say on the matter:
I’m going down, but I don’t have to put my head down, because I’m going to continue to work hard. I don’t think they’re sending me down because I didn’t do my job.
He has a focus, he knows what he wants to do and he knows where he wants to get. He sees himself as a starter down the line.
We felt that the development and the progression had leveled off here. It was a tremendous experience for him and he did everything we asked, but we felt to get him to the next level he needs to pitch on a regular basis and work on a regular basis.
What’s Going On With Johan?
I have to admit, I am baffled on what to think about Johan Santana.
I am officially on the fence folks.
Normally, when I am in this spot my heart and my head are at odds with one another.
My heart wants to believe in Johan so it agrees with Jerry Manuel’s assessment,
He’s historically been a second-half pitcher. I think he’s starting to gear up for that. That’s been his history, but I’ll take what he’s been giving us. I still see a guy that competes.
My head is telling me that Johan is starting to show signs of decline.
Normally, I try not to read other blogs while I am in the middle of writing a post. I don’t want them to influence what I see. My normal operating procedure has me reading other work when I am finished posting.
As far as the Johan situation is concerned, I deviated from the norm. In this case, my heart was fighting with my head. It was telling me to look for ways to explain Johan’s decline.
Instead, I found an excellent post that actually summed up my head’s perspective. Sorry heart.
Tom Greenhalgh from The (Happy?) Recap wrote yesterday how he no longer expects greatness when Johan takes the mound. He just hopes for a win.
Santana’s fastball has lost velocity. Therefore when he throws his change up, the differential in speed is smaller. The result? Unless he has pinpoint control, swings and misses are far and few between. Couple that with the fact that he hasn’t been compensating for his lack of “stuff” with great control, and you get statistics like this:
In his last four starts, Johan Santana has struck out a grand total of ten batters.
If my head’s perspective is correct, than what is the cause?
Is it simply the fact that Santana is getting older? Could it be that he is still not completely recovered from his surgery?
Will it be heart or will it be head? Only the second half of the season will tell.