Stern Words for Sheffield
Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog believes time is running out on Gary Sheffield, and suggests that his presence on the roster could depend on his performance tonight:
“… Sheffield better have a good game, if he hopes to stay with the team beyond May 1.
Personally, I think he is causing confusion on the roster. …
He’s looking better at the plate, but he’s just not getting the results … he must also be making life difficult for Jerry Manuel, who has two outfield corners and four players to fill them, one of which is a rookie, in Murphy, who does nothing but hit and who needs to play every day if he is going to get better on defense, and another in Church, who is the second-best defensive outfielder on the team and who is also hitting .333.
I realize it has only been 15 games, but if he continues to struggle, and Manuel needs the roster spot for a relief pitcher, I say cut him and let Murphy, Church and Tatis find order in their well-earned and necessary roles on the team.
Is Sheffield the crux of the problem with this team? And you’re ready to drop him after 18 at-bats? Really?
I admit to being slightly biased toward Sheffield — I have a thing for righthanded hitters with remarkable bat speed, power, a .310 career average with RISP, and a World Series ring (I also like the fire in his belly, but that’s an overblown factor according to the statheads). It’s true that Sheff might be done, but I think it’s irresponsible to make that decision based on 23 plate appearances — particularly since he’s never been in a bench role before. Further, if Sheffield goes, who takes his place on the roster? Cory Sullivan? Nick Evans (who by the way is hitting .102 after 49 ABs in AAA)?
The answer to the Mets’ pitching problems is not to add more arms to the roster — the team needs quality, not volume. And as mentioned earlier today, the Mets’ best shot at finding that quality might be to trade Ryan Church — in which case Sheffield becomes all the more valuable.
Oh, and I agree wholeheartedly — all Danny Murphy does is hit. He certainly doesn’t field, his fundamentals are shaky, and he’s been sporadic on the bases. If Murphy stops hitting, he has zero value to the team.