Beltran, Delgado, and Reyes: Bring Them Back or Shut Them Down?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IAugust 3, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets at bat against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Mets are in a bad place right now, out of NL East contention and dropping further down in the Wild Card standings.

To say that their chances are not looking at all promising for the rest of the season is a major understatement.

Injuries to key players and off field distractions—namely Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazard, not to mention Bernie Madoff—have hurt this team enormously and many fans want the injured players shut down for the remainder of this frustrating season.

Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes, among others, are in various stages of rehabilitation and fans want them to not bother coming back because things seem hopeless for the team. 

There is also the fear that in Beltran's and Reyes's case that if they come back prematurely they will need surgery that has so far been prevented. 

While the risk of surgery that is a valid concern, there is no guarantee that even without surgery, their careers are not in danger with the leg injuries that they have been nursing since May.

Carlos Delgado was granted a one year extension this winter, which at the time was practically a given with his play during the 2nd half of 2008, but he will be a free agent at the end of the season so the risk is not as great with Delgado after his hip surgery.

JJ Putz, Billy Wagner and John Maine are all working on coming back from elbow and shoulder injuries, but most likely at least Putz and Wagner will come back and make a few relief appearances later this month.

I realize that they are getting paid to play beyond this year in many cases, but there is never a guarantee that a player will be active for the time of his contract, and to shut them down out of defeat with two months remaining is hurting everyone.

Jerry Manuel has said on more than one occasion that no amount of off field distractions are more harmful or discouraging to this current team than hearing one or more negative reports on the prognosis of their injured teammates.

These Mets players have been anxiously waiting for their teammates to come back healthy, but have done reasonably well considering what they are up against being without the caliber of the injured players.

Omar Minaya chose not to make any deals at the trading deadline last Friday with the anticipation of his injured players returning and that no one deal would take the place of proven production.

I am of the opinion that injuries are a big part of the game, these players know that going in, and unless it would be career threatening to bring them back and play, the players should be on the field earning their money. 

If they can't play at all, at least be in the dugout and clubhouse for moral support to cheer them on and guide them on both offense and defense if needed.

Carlos Delgado has been working with Daniel Murphy on first base defense and JJ Putz has been around in the clubhouse and is keeping everyone loose with laughter and practical jokes.

Much has been said about shutting down Johan Santana because his efforts are being wasted, again that is ridiculous, he's healthy, let him earn his money and be a part of this team that he seems to want to take pride in being an active member.

Once the season is over, many will have surgeries, as is fairly common, so even though they are not in playoff contention, they should be helping the Mets if they are able to compete physically with minimal discomfort.

At this stage of the season, any everyday player who tells you that they are feeling 100 percent is not only lying to you, they are deceiving themselves but most will never complain or use it as an excuse.

The majority of players are all out there battling various bumps, bruises, strains, and sprains, they come with the game and these guys all know that when the season starts.

David Wright has played with lingering groin and twisted ankle injuries, and Alex Cora has played with torn ligaments in his thumb, but no fan wants them to quit, slump or to be shut down for the season.

They are showing leadership to their teammates, and that should not be kicked to the curb no matter how many more losses this team has this season.

If the Mets management is giving up, let Wright, Cora, Castillo, Sheffield and Francouer all sit out for the rest of the season and let it be an AA club from top to bottom. 

Wright and Castillo are the only Met regulars to not have any time spent on the DL, Daniel Murphy has also avoided injury but he has been given several days rest in between starts.

David Wright has played in all but one game this season, and unless something drastic happens, he will play all remaining games because Jerry Manuel does not seem to have any inclination to rest him.

The salaries that these players make are ridiculous and to let them sit on the DL when they are capable of playing is only making things worse for the fans who are going to the stadium to watch their team.

It is good that the Mets are giving progress reports on the injured players and Mets management does want them to come back, even if it is for a losing cause the last month of the season.