Is The New York Mets' Season on The Cusp Of Being Over in June?

levinakl@levinaklCorrespondent IIIJune 5, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 31:  Jerry Manuel #53, Manager  of the New York Mets looks on against the Florida Marlins during their game on May 31, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

I think Carlos Beltran hit home with many fans with the thoughts he shared after Thursday's game against Pittsburgh:

“The reality is, coming here to Pittsburgh and getting swept, for me, I feel embarrassed… We need to find a way to play better and to focus more on what we need to accomplish… I mean, we have to take this personally.  It can’t happen… I know the Pirates are a big-league team, but we’re better than them.  We’re better than them, and we know we’re better than them.  But, we have to do something about it.  McLouth wasn’t here and they still came out and scored 11 runs.  11 runs?  We have to play better.”

The bottom line is this, I couldn't have said it too much better myself, nor are there too many other people who could either. Some people may think Beltran threw some of his teammates "under the bus," but in this case, all I think he did was speak the truth.

Just look at the roster of the team. Guys like Emil Brown and Wilson Valdez were not on any original roster projections for this team. Even Fernando Martinez was expected to develop for the full season at AAA. Now, he's being counted on to keep this team afloat.

Jose Reyes has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury, and is likely to be out until at least the All-Star break. J.J. Putz is getting tested for an elbow injury, and who knows what type of injury he could be diagnosed with. 

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The sad part is his absence may help the Mets in the short term if you look at how awful Putz has been performing of late. No one has any idea when Carlos Delgado will return from hip surgery. Oliver Perez is nursing his knee tendinitis down in St Lucie, with no known plan of his return.

It is expected that Ryan Church will return shortly, but with the way things have gone, how can any Met be expected to stay healthy? It's awful how it has come to this.

The Mets are on the cusp of having the 2009 season blow up in front of them. On top of that, let's hope GM Omar Minaya doesn't feel pressed into making a panic move, and mortgage the future by giving up prospects for one player.  

However, there is only so much that guys like Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran and David Wright can do to keep the team afloat.  Others must step up and do so now.

With the current state of the team, there are significant question marks at 1b, SS, and both corner OF spots offensively, as well as a fifth starter and eighth inning roles for pitchers. 

Is Daniel Murphy a legitimate major league first basemen, or should he be learning and perfecting his trade at AAA? Who can the Mets count on to play SS over the long haul while Jose Reyes recovers from injury? Is Alex Cora the answer or do the Mets need to bring in someone from outside the organization?

How long can Gary Sheffield be expected to play at age 40 without completely breaking down?  His bat has slowed a bit of late already, and he has been limping at times in the outfield, so one would expect the need to sit him more often in the immediate future. 

And tonight's start is a very big one for Tim Redding, because after a good first start, he has done little to keep his role.  Not to mention, will Livan Hernandez stay effective?

As far as the eighth innings, Bobby Parnell is moving into the role, which I would expect him to perform, but remember, he's a young pitcher being asked to fill a role he hasn't done before, so until he performs in the role, he is still a question mark. 

It's time for guys like Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, and Brian Stokes to step up and grab the sixth and seventh innings of games by being effective in games.

Only time will tell how the Mets end up, but as of June 5th, it looks like the Mets won't have to worry about any September collapse, as they seem to be on the cusp of ending their playoff chances in June. 

With a key series against the Phillies coming up, and the Subway Series with the Yankees, the time is now for the Mets to show what they are made of.

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