New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday: Beltran, Wheeler, Santana, 6-Man Rotation?

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     Hello my friends, and welcome back to another edition of New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday! Well, the inevitable has happened this week as you are all well aware of by now. In the midst of the club’s 10 game road trip, Carlos Beltran was finally dealt to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for highly-regarded pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. We all knew it was coming, only question was when. Beltran will be a free agent at the season’s end and due to a clause in his contract, his final team leading up to the offseason, now the Giants, will not be able to offer him arbitration. That cancels out any chance for the team to receive sandwich picks in next year’s draft. Ultimately had the Mets held onto Beltran, who is a long shot to be resigned here in Queens, they would have received absolutely nothing for him. That alone made any type of deal immensely necessary.

     Thus, the Carlos Beltran era ends. Unfortunately, Beltran’s defining, most memorable moment will be when he took a called third strike from Adam Wainwright to end the 2006 NLCS, dashing the dreams of Mets fans all over. Despite that, Beltran certainly earned his keep while playing for the Mets. Let’s just leave 2005 out of it, the adjustment year that saw him struggle to adapt to New York. As soon as the calendar turned to 2006, Beltran became the player we all expected he would be. Finishing fourth in the NL MVP race, he amassed a .275/.388/.594 line (.982 OPS) and slugged 41 home runs tying a franchise record, not to mention winning his first Gold Glove. 2007 and 2008 also proved to be successful years for Carlos, as he tallied OPS’s of .878 and .876 respectively, took home 2 more Gold Gloves, and also accumulated MVP votes. 2009 saw the Mets lose Beltran to injury, but in the 81 games he played, he posted a sweet .915 OPS. Once Beltran returned late in 2010, his numbers did take a bit of a dip, and many of us wondered what he had left in the tank. Well, here we are in 2011, and Carlos looked just like the player he was 3-4 years ago, with a league leading 30 doubles to go along with a .904 OPS right before the deal. It’s a shame he couldn’t win a ring in New York, but there is no denying he will go down as one of the more undervalued, unappreciated Mets of all time. Thanks for your contributions Carlos, and best of luck in Fog City!

     Now that that’s in the past, let’s focus on the future, and the future is 21 year old Zack Wheeler. The 6th overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft, you’ve got to give credit once again to Sandy Alderson. He knew he had the best bat on the market, and wouldn’t give him up unless the return was justifiable. It certainly was just that in my estimation. Unless San Fran wins the World Series with Beltran, it’ll be more like highway robbery. Wheeler can throw his fastball at speeds up to 95 MPH, and has an above average curveball to complement it. His changeup isn’t much of a weapon yet, but time will tell where that goes. The hype is real high for Wheeler, so plucking him from San Fran for Beltran was a sweet deal. He won’t make much of an impact on the big stage for quite a while, and you just never really know how these draft picks will turn out until years from now. But overall, I think I am content with Wheeler, and I certainly don’t think the Mets came out on the short end of this trade.

     Now onto some more “down on the farm” news, though this one involves established Major League pitcher Johan Santana. Santana fired three scoreless innings on July 28th for Class A St. Lucie, surrendering two hits, no walks, and striking out three. And so, his maximum 30 day clock for his minor league rehab assignment has officially begun ticking. Barring any injury, Santana will be back in blue and orange before August is out. The only issue is, who’s getting bumped once he does come back? While I’ve read the more likely names are Dillon Gee (for reasons I can’t quite understand) and Chris Capuano (understandable, but why not Saint Mike Pelfrey?) I’ve also read another idea being tossed around: a six man rotation. Personally, I’m not a fan of it. Pitchers are very particular when it comes to the amount of days off in between. Just the slightest irregularity can throw a pitcher off big time, so personally I’m not a big believer in this solution. We’ll see where it goes, but I don’t think a 6 man rotation is the best way to finish out the year.

     What say you Mets fans? Will you miss Carlos Beltran now that he is elsewhere? Do you think the haul of Zack Wheeler was a fair return for dealing Carlos? And what do you think of a 6 man rotation for the Mets in the final month plus of the year? Comment below please, and thanks as always for stopping on by!