For some fans, the last week before the trade deadline is one of the most exciting weeks of the entire season. For others, it is just a day like any other. However, for Mets fans, this year’s trade deadline is causing one of the most exhausting and obnoxious weeks since the year began. Trade rumors aside, the Mets just dropped two of three games to the last place Marlins. To make matters worse, Ike Davis discussed the notion last week that he is leaning on the side of undergoing season ending surgery. All in all, it has been a tough second half start for the Metropolitans and their fan base.
Now, it is the media’s turn. First, it was the Reyes rumors until Alderson closed the door on that. Now the spotlight is on Carlos Beltran. No matter where you look, you will probably see an updated rumor on where Beltran is either going or where he prefers to play. Sure, some Mets fans will shrug off the rumors or pretend that it is something that needs to happen. Nevertheless, losing a .291 hitter leading the team in runs batted in and home runs is a hard fact to swallow.
With all of the talk focusing on where Beltran will end up, there is not nearly enough about how the 2011 New York Mets will respond to the remainder of the year.
So how is the rest of the team responding to all of the rumors floating around? In short, not well. Terry Collins has already spoken out on how various players in the clubhouse have approached him asking about the trade rumors. With a team battling injuries and just barely hanging on in the Wild Card race, all of this hype is not helping. Although it is hopelessly optimistic to assume the Mets will still be in the race come mid-September, I think it is still too early to count them out completely.
One of the main questions that should be asked is who will fill Carlos Beltran’s shoes once the media frenzy dies down and the Mets are left without a right fielder. The two front runners are Lucas Duda and Scott Hairston. Duda, who was the Mets Minor League Player of the Year last year, has been on a roll as of late, hitting .467 in the past week. Hairston has been doing much of the same including a three hit game against Philadelphia last weekend.
The obvious strategy is to platoon the two players for the remainder of the season. Although the two will not produce equally as much as the All-Star, they will fill the position with that blue collar play the team has thrived on all year long. Adversity has not been uncommon for this ballclub so far this year, so it will at least be a fun ride the rest of the way.