With things being a bit in flux in Queens, there are plenty of people that think some sort of roster shakeup may be on the cards.
Jerry Manuel has been quoted as saying he would like to see another reliever in his bullpen, but that would probably be at the expense of somebody on the bench.
With Alex Cora and Fernando Tatis being the virtual locks to stay, one would think that the two men who would have the highest likelihood to go in favor of a pitcher would be Jeremy Reed or Gary Sheffield.
Reed hasn’t had much of a chance to make an effect in the early going. Being a pinch runner and pinch hitter on occasion, he could be expendable, but I am here to prove one point. Gary Sheffield should stay.
When the Mets first signed the Sheff, I thought defending him would be the last thing I would do, but the fact of the matter is that Sheffield has been much better than what his .167 average would indicate.
So far, the only huge moment for Sheffield was his 500th career home run.
He received a curtain call, and he also got hugs from his teammates. It seemed like he was fitting in. Unbelievably, he has been hitting the ball well, but he has been the victim of great defensive plays.
For example, a couple of nights ago against Florida, Sheffield was robbed of at least a double by a Cody Ross Mays-like catch. Sheffield has also scorched the ball other times, but he has received no reward. The thing that has surprised me the most about him has been his defense.
Aside from a dropped fly ball the other night, Sheffield has shown me, at least in the early going, that he can get a decent jump on the ball.
Left field in the new ball park is a lot of space to cover, and Sheffield doesn’t seem to be much of a defensive liability, like lots of people thought he would be.
He has batted cleanup twice, and it is clear to me that Jerry Manuel senses that there is some pop left in the 40-year-old’s bat. More exposure and more at-bats could give Sheffield the boost he needs to finally break through.
The thing I am impressed with, above all else, is the fact that Gary has not run his mouth at all. In fact, he seems to be acting like a gentleman in the Mets’ clubhouse. If he continues to play like a team player, Manuel will have him in his good graces.
Sheffield really has the capability to be the power bat that the Mets’ lineup lacks, and even his presence on the bench can make a difference. I think getting rid of him would be a mistake, because the Sheff still has some more left.
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