Spring Postcard: Santana cloud hanging over Mets camp
Jerry Manuel's lineup experiment is more about Castillo than Reyes
The key guy in the crowded Mets outfield is Ryan Church
This is hard to imagine, but Livan Hernandez could help this team
1) For a team that spit up two straight September leads, the Mets are running a loose, confident camp -- at least until Johan Santana's elbow started barking.
2) Manuel's experiment to bat Jose Reyes third this spring is a good example of his willingness to look at situations from new vantage points.
3) The other thing that jumps out at you in Mets camp is their outfield.
This is hard to imagine, but Livan Hernandez could help this team. He looks to be in good shape and throwing well. If the Mets need him to make 32 starts they're in trouble, but New York will have far better pitching depth than it had in previous years if Hernandez can work a little of his 83 mph magic for 15 starts or so.
Wish you were here
A healthy Johan. Until Santana gets a clean bill of health, a pall remains over this team, if only because of the possibility that he might miss some starts. Scott Kazmir came back from a balky spring training elbow last year to make 27 starts (he made three tune-ups in the minors) and help pitch the Rays into the World Series. The Mets will take a similar conservative mindset with their franchise pitcher. For now, though, living with the daily updates and the "what-ifs" exhausts some mental energy from this team.
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