By now you probably know that Jason Bay has been placed on the disabled list with a rib fracture and Mike Pelfrey joined him with elbow inflammation.
Is this bad news or good news for Mets fans?
Obviously, it’s bad news if you are Bay, Pelfrey, or a relative of either. Certainly, no one wants to root for others to have pain and injury. But “it is what it is” and as a result, two fan unfavorites are off the roster, to be replaced by youngsters from the farm. Are you willing and inappropriate enough to admit that you are at least intrigued — if not pleased — with this unfortunate turn of events?
With Bay, Pelfrey, and Ronny Cedeno out (yeah, he’s hurt too — do you care?), the Mets have promoted Jordany Valdespin, Zach Lutz, and Robert Carson. It’s likely that Carson will go back down and be replaced by a starter from Buffalo when Pelfrey’s turn in the rotation comes up. Valdespin may see time in left field, and has already seen an inning at second base. Lutz might get some playing time while Ike Davis is struggling.
Personally, I’m torn; as a ballplayer myself — and one who dealt with debilitating injuries — I don’t like to hear about others’ injuries. At the same time, the prospect of seeing prospects on a team going nowhere fast excites me. Maybe Lutz will be nothing than another Craig Brazell; maybe Valdespin is just another Danny Garcia; perhaps Carson is another Brent Gaff. But the point is, I’m not seeing a postseason appearance this year, so I need something to be excited about. In previous dark days, the promise of postseason was replaced by hopes and wishes for the exuberant and youthful play of Jeff Duncan, Orber Moreno, Mike Bishop, Butch Benton, Jeremy Griffiths, Matt Watson, Esix Snead, John Pacella, Roy Lee Jackson, Dan Norman, and many others. Every once in a while, one of those young fill-ins moved on and actually made careers of themselves — Marco Scutaro, Mike Scott, Fernando Vina, and Jose Oquendo are a few who come to mind. It’s already looking like it’s going to be “one of those years” when the win-loss record won’t be the focal point, so we turn our attention to the future. With an adjustment in expectations, and change of perspective, 2012 can be an enjoyable season of baseball in Flushing.
What say you? Do you look forward to seeing an influx of youngsters this year? Do you feel the least bit guilty knowing that the pleasure of their entry is dependent on the pain of others? Post your feelings in the comments.
About the Author
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.