The Show Must Go
This is one show that must NOT go on.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that Scott Schoeneweis must be removed from the Mets roster — and in fact, his moving on would enable him to get moving on his next career.
However, it will have to happen after this coming weekend, as the single reason the Mets threw $11M to “The Show” was to pitch to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Now here’s the conundrum. If Schoeneweis does his job, and retires Howard and/or Utley this weekend in big spots, then he justifies his place on the roster — and hangs around at least a few more weeks to blow more games. On the other hand, if Schoeneweis does not get the lefties out, that likely means the Mets are on the losing end of the game.
How bad is Schoeneweis? Consider this: after a respectable April, hitters battered the lefthander for a .300 average, .420 OBP, and 1.096 OPS in May. It’s gotten no better in June: .355/.412/.960.
As Toasty Joe pointed out in an interview on MetsBlog Talk Radio, Willie Randolph’s modus operandi is to show unwavering confidence in struggling veterans, continually giving them opportunities to perform. But at what point must a manager come to the realization that a player is not going to turn it around? How can you continue to put a pitcher into tight situations, when batters against him are getting on base at a nearly .400 clip, slugging at over .500?
The most frightening issue is that these numbers are getting higher and higher as the season wears on — with no signs of flattening or descending. Schoeneweis — who at the top of his game last year was approaching the mid-90s — is barely reaching 90 MPH with his fastball and has neither bite nor command with his breaking pitches. He insists that his torn tendon is not affecting his pitching, but then what else would explain the sudden loss of velocity and effectiveness? The injury gives the Mets an “out”, in that they can put him on the disabled list and promote someone who can be counted on for quality innings (Ambiorix Burgos?) without making a major roster move or going through the financially painful process of releasing Schoeneweis outright — which won’t happen in 2007.
Otherwise, it’s time to swap the roles of The Show and Aaron Sele — who hasn’t pitched in so long no one remembers whether he’s effective or not. At least, we won’t know for certain the game is over when he enters the game.