Where’s the Beef?

I’d like to share the stats of a “random” selection of batters …

Manny Ramirez went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI in his most recent game, hitting .615 since joining the Dodgers.

Casey Blake was 2-for-4 in the same game, hitting .364 with LA.

Xavier Nady set a career high by driving in 6 runs yesterday, going 4-for-5. He’s hitting .385 in the pinstripes.

Ken Griffey, Jr. is hitting .429 wearing the White Sox uniform.

Jason Bay has scored 6 runs in three games with the Red Sox, sporting a .364 batting average.

Aubrey Huff
— whose name was unbelievably not even whispered during the trade deadline — is batting .547 with 9 RBI in his last 7 games. Fantasy owners know he’s hitting .305 with 22 HR and 73 RBI this season.

Meantime, the Mets continue to struggle at the plate, as they were shut out by the lowly Astros in a game in which they left 11 runners on base.

Since being anointed the starting left fielder by manager Jerry Manuel, Fernando Tatis has started in left field once and is 5-for-21 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.

Meantime, the “real” left fielders appear to be a conglomeration of overmatched rookies Nick Evans and Dan Murphy, punch-and-judy-hitting Endy Chavez, and the recently disabled Marlon Anderson.

Regular right fielder Ryan Church was supposedly on track to come off the DL within a week, but skipped batting practice yesterday. The Mets’ medical staff, which has been about as reliable as the weather this year, claims this was not a setback.

It’s not bad enough that the corner outfield positions are punchless; recently, hard-hitting Ramon Castro suffered a sprained ankle, which means the number eight spot in the order will be manned exclusively by Brian Schneider and Robinson Cancel. Combine this with the fact that the team’s highest-paid position player has been installed as the #2 hitter in the lineup, and suddenly there is a mild panic regarding the Mets’ ability to score runs.

Oh, but the cavalry is on its way, folks — Luis Castillo has begun his rehab stint in the minors. Before you know it, we’ll be witnessing his soft flares, bloopers, and ground balls peppering the infield once again. And, the Mets just signed utility infielder Ramon Martinez to a minor-league contract. His career slugging percentage of .370 is much better than Mario Mendoza’s.

But things get scarier when you consider that the Mets’ number one concern right now is not the offense, but the bullpen. So if there is any chance of improving the team — for example, through a trade — the Mets likely will acquire an arm before a bat.

Buckle up, folks … the rollercoaster is heading down quickly …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Taylor August 4, 2008 at 12:25 pm
    I can’t argue too much with this assessment. Heilman can be terrific at times. Let’s hope one of the times is coming up in the next few weeks.
  2. sincekindergarten August 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm
    Didn’t I say something about the pendulum swinging back? Guess what, my friend? It’s making a correction. It’ll go back, too–possibly for the rest of the season (meaning that the Mets will start reeling off wins again).

    It’s Hell going throiugh it.