Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Happens When Injured Players Return?


Though setbacks have delayed their return to action, Angel Pagan, David Wright and Ike Davis will eventually be healthy enough to play.

In fact, Pagan is expected back in the lineup this Friday.

While last night’s game was a poor indicator, the Mets have actually played some good baseball without three of their regulars players. Some young guys have stepped up when needed, especially Justin Turner and Jason Pridie.

Pridie has shown enough to keep him on the roster. He can be a serviceable fourth outfielder, and can spot-start while Pagan readjusts to the big leagues.

When Pagan comes off the disabled list, most likely Nick Evans or Fernando Martinez will be the first to be sent to the minors. Evans has become a forgotten man on the bench, while F-Mart needs to play every day to keep improving for the future.

Probably sending down F-Mart would be the smartest option at this point. Evans is quickly losing value, so keeping him buried as insurance on the bench is better than taking playing time away from F-Mart.

Though this decision seems to be an easy one, what happens when Wright and Davis are ready to return?

Turner has established himself as a regular on this team, whether at second or third base. He’s not going anywhere once the regular corners return.

Daniel Murphy started off this season well with the bat and the glove, but he has cooled down significantly offensively. He needs to regain his stroke, so he can be a platoon partner with Turner once Davis returns.

Assuming he isn’t sent down when Pagan returns, Evans should be back down once Davis returns.

When Wright eventually comes off the disabled list—which may be longer than expected—Ruben Tejada will likely head back to Buffalo. If his offense can ever come around, he has the glove to be a regular.

However, sending down Tejada would eliminate the only other player on the roster who can play shortstop. Jose Reyes has been phenomenal, but what if he gets hurt? This would be something to consider in shaping the roster once everyone is healthy.

Meanwhile, Willie Harris and Scott Hairston are clogging up bench spots. The two combined have been a complete disappointment. Harris is on a minor league deal, which may work against him if the Mets are fed up with his performance.

So far, no team has really run away with the division, so if the Mets can stay afloat as their stars are healing, we could be in store for an exciting summer—assuming the Fred Wilpon refrains from any more comments directed at his own players.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

Originally featured at Mets Merized Online.

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