Manuel On Auditions: FAIL!
With the late season auditions almost over, Jerry Manuel has proclaimed failure. We don’t know who Jerry is referring to specifically when he talks about the players who have “had a good shot … but … haven’t taken advantage of it”, but we can guess. Among those who have been given opportunities (or expanded roles) due to injuries include Daniel Murphy, Omir Santos, Wilson Valdez, Anderson Hernandez, Angel Pagan, Cory Sullivan, Josh Thole, Fernando Tatis, Bobby Parnell, Tim Redding, Nelson Figueroa, Pat Misch, Ken Takahashi, Elmer Dessens, Brian Stokes, Tobi Stoner, and Sean Green. I can’t include Jeremy Reed and Nick Evans in that group because they’ve accumulated six starts between them since August 1 — not enough to constitute an “opportunity” in my book.
Some from that group have done enough to warrant further inspection next spring — namely Murphy, Santos, and Figueroa. Pagan has shown he can wield a dangerous bat, but the rest of his game is suspect. AHern’s offense has improved since his last go-around, but his defense has dropped. Valdez has great defensive tools but not enough to make up for his weak bat. Reed has been an excellent pinch-hitter and a solid defender — it would’ve been nice to see him and Evans get a fair shake.
The rest of them have performed with similarly mixed results. Redding, for example, has been particularly impressive over the last few weeks, but is it enough to erase his first ten starts — to the point where it warrants another $2M+ contract? Misch may be kept for another audition next spring due to his age (28), but we likely won’t see the aging Dessens and Takahashi return. Stokes remains an enigma — if someone would tell him to focus on two pitches he might evolve into a reliable middle reliever. But that someone may not be the Mets — if he remains, it’ll be on another split-contract, minimum-salary deal.
I love Tatis for his hustle, but his bat isn’t worth $1.7M. Will he take a pay cut? Green likely will be back, since he’s cheap and has some promise. Tobi Stoner, though, may have worn out his welcome — if there’s any truth to this story.
Personally, I’d like to see Reed return, though $925K may be too rich for the Mets budget. Cory Sullivan is similarly talented and nearly as expensive — my guess is the Mets will let them both walk away in the winter.
We’ll see soon enough which of “complimentary players” are in the plans. Who would you like to see return, and why?