Posts Tagged ‘Angel Pagan’

Latest Move Shows How Much Minaya Has Grown

January 23, 2010

“A lot of it is going to depend on how he recuperates,” Mets GM Omar Minaya said. “I don’t want to put a specific time on when he’ll be back.”

Minaya’s comments regarding Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran’s return from arthroscopic knee surgery came after he had just acquired 35-year-old outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels.

Matthews, Jr. will join Angel Pagan as the most likely candidates for the Mets centerfielder position, barring any further setbacks, of course. The former LA Angel was sent to New York along with the majority of his contract paid in full for right-handed reliever Brain Stokes.

The underachieving veteran could very well become potential trade bait if he makes the most of his opportunities spelling Beltran who is undergoing rehabilitation. With the highly-touted Fernando Martinez waiting in the wings down in Triple-A, I find it hard to believe Matthews, Jr. will be around longer than necessary.

“He’s a very versatile player,” Minaya said of Matthews. “I think it’s going to be an open competition. That’s the same thing that I told Gary [Matthews, Jr.] when he asked that. Nobody’s going to be given a job. Whoever performs is going to be given the opportunity.”

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Surgery Places Beltran Back on the Shelf

January 15, 2010

The big “if” for the Mets heading into the 2010 season just got a little bigger. Centerfielder Carlos Beltran will most likely miss the first month of this season due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Beltran, hampered for most of his career with chronic knee pain, decided on the surgery after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Richard Steadman. Not from Dr. David Altchek, the Mets team physician.

In addition to Beltran’s inability to participate on Opening Day this season, he could very well face legal ramifications from the Mets front office for bypassing a third opinion. Mets assistant GM John Ricco admitted publicly that the Mets organization was disappointed with Beltran’s decision for surgery and argued that they were not afforded the opportunity to proceed otherwise.

With these latest developments, back-up outfielder Angel Pagan and prospect Fernando Martinez will most likely see themselves in a much bigger role than was originally expected.

Even though the calendar year says 2010, it sure feels eerily similar to 2009. Stay tuned.

Mets Strike First But End Up Looking Like a Dud

September 2, 2009

A slim layer of smoke hung around the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field for the start of the Mets and Rockies game last night. SNY’s Gary Cohen quickly assured Mets fans that it was not smog but a mixture of carbon and sulfur that had made its way from the California wildfires thousands of miles away. With such an unsettling atmosphere for a baseball game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel knew he was in store for a very eventful night.

The evening turned bizarre from the outset. In the top of the first inning, Mets leadoff man, Angel Pagan, proceeded to run the bases backwards. After poking a single into centerfield, Pagan was forced out at second base when he misjudged a single for a fly out hit by Luis Castillo. Instead of having runners on the corners with nobody out, the Mets were looking at one out and Castillo on first. Fortunately for Pagan, the Mets managed to squeak out two runs in the inning to take a 2-0 lead on Colorado. The Rockies would eventually finish off a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning handing Mets starter Mike Pelfrey an early exit and his tenth loss of the season. Pelfrey surrendering seven runs, six earned, on six hits to go along with five walks.

On a more enthusiastic note, David Wright returned to the Mets starting lineup. If you recall, Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list after experiencing post-concussion symptoms from being knocked in the head by a 93-mph fast ball. Along with his return to action, Wright managed to put a smile on everyone’s face by showcasing a larger more noticeable batting helmet. The Mets third baseman went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to go along with two strikeouts. With last night’s 8-3 defeat, the Mets have now lost 10 out of their last 13 games.

Mets Lineup Showing Stability within an Unstable Environment

July 29, 2009

As chaotic as the Mets front office may seem these last few days, the makeup of their everyday starting lineup has remained a symbol of stability. Since placing veteran outfielder Gary Sheffield on the 15-day disabled list, Mets manager Jerry Manual has left his lineup card on auto pilot. With the exception of splitting up the catching duties, the remaining spots in the Mets lineup have been designated to include the same group of guys.

Centerfielder Angel Pagan has enjoyed the leadoff spot with three triples and two doubles in his last ten games. Second baseman Luis Castillo has seen his batting average skyrocket over three hundred and is currently batting .306. Third baseman David Wright continues to produce and get on base. He is now hitting .321. First baseman Daniel Murphy has benefitted greatly from the extra playing time. He has been able to sharpen up his defensive skills and concentrate on moving runners over. Since coming over to the Mets, right fielder Jeff Francoeur has gone 17-for-52 (.327 BA) with three home runs and fifteen RBIs. If you add the steady hands (no pun intended!) of shortstop Alex Cora and left fielder Cory Sullivan, it makes for a very cohesive lineup.

Not only is the Mets latest four game winning streak refreshing but the current approach of their manager can also be looked at as promising. There has been no bigger advocate than me in finally seeing some consistency in the Mets starting lineup. Jerry, I know you’re just itching to mix-and-match your everyday players for the remaining two games of this series but for the love of all things Wilpon, don’t you even think it.

More Injuries Equals More Wins

May 31, 2009

In the fifth inning of Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Florida Marlins, Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran left the game with a stomach virus. With Beltran out for the remainder of the game, the Mets lineup resembled something very similar to that of a spring training game in March coincided with the World Baseball Classic. In defense of Mets manager Jerry Manuel, the core of his starting position players were in desperate need of a day off.

Nonetheless, left fielder Gary Sheffield, third baseman David Wright, and second baseman Luis Castillo were back in the Mets starting lineup for the final game of this current home stand against the Marlins today and, wouldn’t you know it, produced a better result. Even with their starting pitcher, John Maine, experiencing the same fate as their absent centerfielder, (Maine was pulled prior to the beginning of the seventh inning Sunday with the same type of stomach virus as Beltran) he managed to propel the Mets to victory and take the series from the Marlins, two games to one.

Maine continued his dominance with the help of his trusty bullpen at Citi Field this season with his fourth win in his last four starts at home. Against the Marlins, the right hander went six full innings giving up only three hits with no runs to go along with five strikeouts to just two walks.

“Not many foul balls were hit. I had a low pitch count. I wanted to keep going but what are you going to do.” Maine said. “I couldn’t help it.”

Today’s 3-2 victory concludes a 5-1 home stand for the Mets. Overall, the Mets are 17-9 at Citi Field. “It’s always important to play well at home,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “Our starting pitching has stepped up for us.”

With that said, right-hander Livan Hernandez will take his 4-1 record for the season with him on the road Monday as the Mets begin a four game series in Pittsburgh. They will then head to Washington to take on the Nationals this weekend before returning home to play the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets currently have an 11-12 record on the road.

Adding to the Mets long list of injuries, outfielder Angel Pagan left today’s game with discomfort in his right groin. Pagan’s status has been listed as day-to-day.