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.

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. Walnutz15 April 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm
    Sheffield’s one of the few guys with rockets flying off his bat — and at that rate, all it takes is to find a few gaps, and split a few alleys.

    Cutting him this early would be foolish.

    Unless, of course, he’s causing problems behind the scenes….which I haven’t heard anything about.

  2. mic April 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    after 4 in a row i was not going to vent. In fact i am happy….We all pointed out several obviouses several weeks ago- so lets review:

    a. Rotation: Is the same painfull product as last yr- It wont be fixed if it continues to float. As I pointed out i expected Pelfrey regression too. Livian is just a 5th starter (at best), and Ollie is not an ace….but a facimilew of Carlos Silva/Gil meche.BOTTOM LINE: We need a starter.
    Organizationally, we have Niese, ParnaLL, AND dILLON Gee in wait. Frankly I think Parnall must be demoted and allowed to start. Instead we need to decide if Muniz and Kunz can help in the bigs.

    b. Danny Murph must also be demoted. Right now a memorial to Greg Jeffries is being carted out named Danny Murphy. Yes he carries a great stick but I suggest he spend a month in AAA playing 3rd AND LF. In LF we have Sheff, Wily Mo and TATIS as options. As much as we need a starter and Murph’s value (as a 3rd baseman) is high I say look at it. Also seen how F-mart is doing? ….not too shabby. I thought (given the predicted defensive short comings-)Murph should platoon in LF. Also isuzu further said Murph should not hit #2.

    c. Line up is already morping……to what it was last sept.

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