New York Mets’ Morsels: Alou Set to Return, Schneider Out Again, and More

Dan SiegelSenior Analyst IApril 24, 2008

Adam Rubin of the Daily News is reporting that Moises Alou may be back with the New York Mets this Friday at Shea against the Atlanta Braves.

This move couldn’t be more well-timed, as the New York offense could use a jolt with the batting averages of Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado taking a nose dive.  Even Angel Pagan, the man Alou will be replacing in left field, has finally cooled off for the first time since February it seems.

Who Alou will replace on the roster is a different story.  One person it won’t be is Brady Clark.  The Mets have designated him for assignment to make room for catcher Gustavo (not related to Yadier, Jose, or Bengie) Molina.

No, the Mets’ love-affair with the .211-hitting Raul Casanova has not ended.  It turns out that Brian Schneider’s bruised forearm has moved down in the injury ledger to make room for an infected left thumb that has required hospital observation in New York.

This is where the Mets really miss Ramon Castro.  Castro, who has just begun rehabbing in Florida, always seemed to provide the Mets with some offensive fire power whenever he got a stretch of starts. 

He hit eight home runs and drove in 41 runs in 99 games in 2005 backing up Mike Piazza and hit a career high 11 homers in 2007 while also earning a career high .285 batting average in 52 games backing up Paul LoDuca.

Back to Alou.  If Schneider goes on the disabled list, then Alou will replace him on the roster and the Mets will be stuck with their number three and number four catchers behind the plate for a couple of weeks.

If Schneider is able to return, Molina could go right back down.  Perhaps there is an outside chance, however, that Jorge Sosa could be given the axe sooner or later.  He has been horrific this season, posting a 7.24 ERA while giving up four home runs in only 13.2 innings of work.  With Duaner Sanchez’s triumphant return to the bullpen, there (thankfully) has been less work for Sosa over the last couple of games.

With the emergence of Nelson Figueroa as an able pitcher at the Major League level, even after being out of the bigs since 2004, he could be an option to take Sosa's long relief role once Pedro Martinez actually comes back from injury (the word is that his hamstring is healing ahead of schedule [sigh]). 


Missing Scott Kazmir?

Nobody can ever forgive the Mets for trading Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano.  Even if Kazmir’s left arm only ended up to be good enough to be the peanut guy, he still would have been more value than Zambrano and the tail he tucked between his legs as he trotted into the Mets’ dugout during his last start at Shea never to be seen in blue and orange again.

Anyhow, what would it be like to have a young, flame throwing lefty in the rotation?

Well, Mets’ fans don’t need to imagine.

No, this isn’t Johan Santana we’re talking about here. The man of the hour is Oliver Perez.

The 26-year old was 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA going into Thursday night’s start against the Washington Nationals.  He even helped his own cause, driving in a run in the fourth inning against that Nats’ Shawn Hill.

Meanwhile, the 24-year old Kazmir has just finished a rehab start in A-ball and will likely be greeted by the Red Sox in his first start back.  Kazmir, 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA in 2007 with the Rays, may help Tampa Bay get above the .500 mark in this young 2008 season.

Many Mets’ fans would have loved to have Kazmir’s arm in the rotation last season, but note that Perez went 15-10 in 2007, posting a virtually identical 3.56 ERA.