Padres could rebuild organization by trading star Gonzalez (cont.)
Hurt or not hurt ... that is the Mets' toughest question
The Mets looked bad a few times recently when they delayed putting players on the disabled list and instead played shorthanded. But it might not have been a case of medical misjudgment so much as wishful thinking. The Mets' real problem is that while they have some terrifically huge stars, their backups are generally pretty weak (and especially their backups to their backups in the case of the shortstop position). So they waited hopefully on Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes before both stars eventually went on the DL.
Considering seven of nine starters missed time on their recent 10-game trip through Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, the Mets did well to break even at 5-5. Then they got back and beat the Nationals two straight, although one Mets person admitted, "Their lineup is better than ours." That might be an exaggeration, but David Wright and Luis Castillo are currently the only players from the Opening Day lineup in their original spots.
Still, that's seven wins in 12 games since their spate of pain began.
What's more, hope arrived from Buffalo in the form of their top prospect Fernando Martinez (Fernandomania II?) and also Cleveland in the form of career .211-hitting Wilson Valdez, the extra shortstop they needed with Alex Cora also hurting (Mets people now believe Cora will be back in a week, but could that be more wishful thinking?). Reyes is said to be out about another 10 days and Delgado out for another nine weeks.
The Mets actually were told 6-12 weeks for Delgado by doctors, according to sources. Though, one player familiar with Delgado's case said he still believes 10 weeks may be a best-case scenario, and knowing the history of unfulfilled optimism, no one would be surprised if he was out until mid-to-late August.
Around the majors
Best-case scenario is for Arizona star pitcher Brandon Webb to be back in a month. In the meantime, Webb's extended absence has been murder on the D-backs' bullpen.
Red Sox people are being very kind to the Big Floppy so far (I actually suggested Big Pop-Up on Twitter, but as one follower wrote me, he has to make contact for that nickname). Fans are treating him well in Boston thanks to all the good will he's built, and manager Terry Francona took a very long time before demoting him to No. 6 in the batting order considering he's been the worst hitter in the league so far this year. His OPS is a ridiculously poor .611.
Speculation by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that Brad Penny (5-1, 5.96 ERA) will be available in trade makes a lot of sense, as the Red Sox have John Smoltz on the way back and Clay Buchholz (he has a 1.30 ERA in the minors even after two F-Mart home runs) on the way up.
Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is amazing.
Daniel Cabrera now has the distinction of being designated for assignment by two awful teams in one area (Baltimore and Washington).
Derek Jeter is averaging 4.01 pitches per plate appearance, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He has never averaged four pitches per plate appearance for a season.
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle appears to be hanging by a thread. Speculation out of Denver is that Don Baylor could get his old job back.
One of the keys to the Rangers has been improved defense at all four infield spots.
However, Rangers first baseman Chris Davis is swinging and missing at a fairly alarming rate. He has 68 strikeouts in 44 games, and a .208 batting average.
The newspaper business is bad when the only person covering the Padres, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, is laid off. He showed the paper what they'll miss by breaking the news that the Padres and White Sox were closing in on an agreement over players in the Peavy arrangement on Friday morning, the day he turned in his computer.
Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, is a hero to all baseball fans as the judge who ended that dumb replacement game and brought back real baseball in 1995 after the strike.
The prize for my 2,500th Twitter follower, Sonya Keller, has gone out in the mail. Admittedly, the reward has little value but not no value. Another prize will be given to a follower sometime before I get to 5,000 followers. I can be followed on twitter at SI_JonHeyman.
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