Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mets nonstop injuries

Marty Noble at Mets.com writes about the injuries the Mets have had to endure and how it is changing the makeup of them:

The Mets already have lost Duaner Sanchez for the rest of the season, and the club is holding its breath while it awaits the results of tests that will determine whether Tom Glavine will require season-ending surgery. Cliff Floyd remains assigned to the disabled list, still unable to play. And though Pedro Martinez is expected to pitch again, he too remains assigned to the disabled list, the date of his return an unknown.

And now the Mets may have lost Ramon Castro, too. Their understudy catcher, who was to have played for the Brooklyn Cyclones Monday night as part of his rehabilitation from a rib cage muscle strain that necessitated his DL assignment, apparently injured his left knee stretching before the Cyclones were to play the Staten Island Yankees.

The Mets already have addressed some of the needs that developed because of the latest injuries, the most damaging of which has been the shoulder separation Sanchez suffered in the taxi accident July 31. With their primary setup reliever lost for the season, the Mets almost immediately dealt Xavier Nady to the Pirates to reacquire veteran reliever Roberto Hernandez and also obtain left-handed starter Oliver Perez.

Hernandez has not been used often, or in the same kind of challenging situations manager Willie Randolph used him last season. Aaron Heilman has inherited the eighth-inning responsibilities that had been Sanchez's, and the Mets have acquired another set-up reliever in Guillermo Mota.
In the short-term, Tucker has been the most effective of any of the Mets stop-gap additions and/or additions other than starting pitcher Maine.

Martinez's second DL assignment of the summer prompted the club to promote veteran left-handed pitcher Dave Williams, who now is scheduled to make his second Mets start Thursday, in place of Glavine. The club has not specified how it will address the absence of Martinez and Glavine. But those being considered are the rookie Bannister, yet to find his way back to the big leagues since tearing his hamstring in his fifth start April 26; fellow rookie Alay Soler, who produced uneven results in his eight starts with the Mets before he injury his calf; and Philip Humber, the Mets first selection in the 2004 amateur draft, who is make unexpected progress since his recovery from Tommy John surgery last summer.

Oliver, who has significantly more big-league experience than Bannister, Soler, Humber and Maine combined, also is a possibility.

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