Mets Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 10:10 am and is filed under Baseball, Mets Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The Mets have had their ups and downs this year – with all aspects of the team having great days followed by or preceding some not-so-great days. But one part of the team that hasn’t performed well at all this season is the bench. The team has pretty much gotten nothing from this group, as we saw last night with Gary Matthews Jr. and Frank Catalanotto both weakly grounding out during their pinch-hit appearances. Henry Blanco is the only guy who’s doing his job. He may only be batting .227, but that’s par for the course for him. His defense and handling of the pitching staff is why he was brought here, and he hasn’t disappointed.

It’s the other four from this gang that have made the role players a big weakness of the team. Matthews was inexplicably given a number of starts at the beginning of the season and was awful. And he’s been terrible ever since (.132, no home runs or RBI’s), whether it’s pinch hitting or given a spot start. Unfortunately, with Carlos Beltran nowhere near coming back (I’m going to forget he’s even on the team until I see him in the batter’s box at Citi Field – and on a day when the Mets are actually playing a game) and no one else anywhere near major league ready (ok, maybe Jason Pridie?), the team just doesn’t have anybody else who can play center field. They don’t think Fernando Martinez is a center fielder, and do you really want him sitting on the bench as Angel Pagan’s backup?

Alex Cora can play shortstop and second base . . . well, he can stand at short and second. If a ball is hit more than a few feet away from him he won’t be able to field it. Sure, he’s a veteran leader and future manager, but he’s giving Mario Mendoza a run for his money by batting .162. Fernando Tatis has one pinch-hit home run, but otherwise hasn’t done anything, with his .206 batting average. And Catalanotto can’t buy himself a base hit (.136), and rarely makes it onto the field.

So what are the answers? Give them more playing time to get them going? Let’s hope not. When Daniel Murphy is healthy, he could take Catalanotto’s spot. Murphy’s had some success as a pinch hitter in the past. And what do the Mets have against Chris Carter? He deserves a chance. He has an OPS of .993 down at AAA Buffalo. No, they can’t play center field, so Matthews is safe from being replaced by those guys. But it sure would give the Mets a boost if they can count on some role players giving the team some production. Bench players are bench players for a reason, so you can’t expect all-star performance from these guys, but how about a hit just once in a while?

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