This is the final part of a two part article where we will discuss the Mets' plans once Carlos Beltran comes off the DL, the exciting three team race in the AL East, and a mid-season trade that could greatly change the NL West standings.
The Mets with Beltran Again
Carlos Beltran is expected begin his rehab assignment within the next couple of weeks, and then make his return from the DL around mid to late July. The Mets have said that they are very excited for his return, but some fans are not as enthusiastic. Many Mets fans, as well as the Mets organization, feel that they are playing at a great level right now, and there is a great feeling inside and out of the Mets clubhouse.
As of now, the Mets starting outfield is playing good, if not great baseball. When Beltran comes back the starting center field job will be his, so that means that someone will need to sit or there will have to be a platoon in right field.
The platoon would have to be in right field because the job securities of Beltran and Jason Bay are very safe right now; but a platoon would not really even work well because both Angel Pagan and Jeff Francoeur are right handed batters.
I think the best move would be to send Pagan to the bench and keep the more experienced Francoeur in right. Pagan is having a good year, but in reality Francoeur is a much better player.
Another issue Mets fans have, is how the clubhouse will react to Beltran coming back. Right now everyone gets along and there are no problems between players. When a player like Beltran comes back from an long period of time being out, other players might not react the right way.
Beltran needs to go in with a good attitude and not like he is the best player on the team, and he deserves to play center field and bat fourth in the lineup.
It will be interesting to see how the Mets react to Beltran coming off the DL. I do not think much will change, because the addition of Carlos Beltran can make any team better.
The Three Amigos (but not really)
Get ready folks, because we are about to witness one of the best three teams division races in baseball history. Let's think about this—the Red Sox, who are in third place in the AL East as of today, would be in first place in any other division. That right there tells you how good the Rays and Yankees actually are.
At most only two teams from the AL East can make the playoffs, so one of these teams will be left out. I believe that it will really come down to what moves the Red Sox make this mid-season.
As of now I do not think that the Sox have a good enough team to compete with the Rays and Yankees for the remainder of the season, but if they are able to add a good bat into their lineup their chances of making the playoffs will greatly increase. Sounds like common sense, right? It's not that simple for the Red Sox. Who they add or what they add will be a major factor in the outcome of this team.
The Rays have a great young team, led by Evan Longoria, with a very good pitching staff. The only problem I see with the Rays is their so-so bullpen. As we all saw in the 2009 playoffs, the bullpen plays a major factor in the outcome of the game, and without a great bullpen your team will not succeed in the playoffs.
The Yankees have an old team. We all knew at some point we would see a decline in production from the core players, but so far this season it has not effected the Yankees that much. They have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, so that will not be an issue for them throughout the playoffs. They have a very respectable bullpen, and everyone knows when the game gets into the ninth inning and they have the lead, Mariano comes in and the game is over.
Remember folks, it is only June 17th and a lot can change throughout the remainder of the season.
The Trade Heard 'Round the NL West
There is one move that I believe can alter the standings in the NL West to push the Giants into first place. This would be a trade between the Giants and the Brewers, sending Prince Fielder to the Giants in exchange for top pitching prospects. I do not know what the exact parameters of the trade would be, but the main piece of the trade would be Fielder to the Giants.
This trade would keep Sandoval at third and push Posey to catcher, or maybe even to an outfield spot. For the remainder of the season Posey and Molina would split time behind the plate.
The Giants have many great pitching prospects in their farm system and the Brewers are in great need of pitching, so this would be a deal that makes a lot of sense. Fielder, although he's not having a great season thus far, is a game changer and would have a great impact on the Giants offense.
The Giants are a half a game out of first, and the Brewers are 8.5 games out and well below the .500 mark. The Brewers want young pitching who will impact the future of the franchise, and that is exactly what the Giants have to offer.
With the All-Star break about a month away, there are many stories that are surprising to many people, and then there are the stories that everyone saw coming. There are teams that we knew would do good and be where they are, and then there are teams that are a bit surprising and came out of no where.
I'll say it again, it is only June 17th and a lot can change throughout the remainder months of the season. For more information please contact me .