Sheffield Could Very Well Be Running on Empty

August 11, 2009

At the start of every season, major league teams seek out veteran ball players with the hope that they could possibly have one good year left in them. The Oakland A’s had nothing but good intentions when they brought back Jason Giambi. The same could be said for the Boston Red Sox regarding pitcher John Smoltz. For the Mets, its 40-year-old Gary Sheffield who has already been placed on the disabled list and most recently has been hampered with a sore hamstring. Acquired more for his wisdom and experience then his ability to contribute everyday, it’s easy to see why the Mets would opt on the side of caution when making the decision whether or not the veteran slugger is able to play.

Prior to yesterday’s game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel sat down with Sheffield behind closed doors to discuss his nagging injury among other things. According to eyewitness reports, Sheffield wasn’t too pleased with Manuel’s decision to scratch him from the Mets starting lineup for the fifth straight day. The veteran outfielder was disappointed because in his mind he was ready to go and eager to get back out on to the field. When the Mets picked up Sheffield right before the start of the season, he was highly considered to be their right-handed power threat coming off the bench. However, with all of the Mets injuries this year, he has been given many opportunities to play everyday.

During his tenure in the American League, Sheffield was able to perform on a daily basis as a designated hitter. With the Mets being a National League team, getting at least three or four licks a game means he must be able to perform defensively as well. For Manuel and the Mets, sacrificing defense for a dangerous bat who is currently ailing may not be such a great idea. With that type of uncertainty, you could make a good case as to why the Mets skipper would think twice before inserting the name ‘Sheffield’ on his daily lineup card.

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