New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday: Santana, Davis, Closer

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Hello to all of my fellow Mets fans! Welcome on back to New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday! I wish we could be meeting on better tidings, but unfortunately that is not the case. We entered last weekend 4 games above .500, the high water mark of 2011. Optimism was abundant and we were all believing that despite the Carlos Beltran trade, we may be able to pull off a miracle. Now, we’ve given all that back and have dropped five of our last six contests. And to top off the week of rough news, a pair of players that should be on the mend and on their way back are sadly doing the exact opposite. Let’s look at the evidence.

At first there was a pushed back rehab start, causing eyebrows all over Queens to rise immediately. Next we heard he suffered a setback, and his shoulder would be examined. Well, now we have the latest word on the "MIA all year" Johan Santana. While there isn’t any structural damage (thank heavens!) Johan has however been diagnosed with what’s being referred to as shoulder fatigue. The good news is Johan should be able to get back on track and continue his rehab. But is it worth it at this point, rushing him back to the big leagues? The team is close to being double digits behind in the NL Wild Card race. At this point, Johan needs to be taking it slow. Him coming back and pitching a few starts for the Mets over somebody already in the rotation is not going to make a huge difference. While it would be nice to see him earn some of the 22.5 million (yikes) dollars he’s being paid this year, the main thing at this point is to have him 100% ready to go for 2012’s spring training, and more importantly, for Opening Day.

The same statement can be applied to the situation Ike Davis is in regarding his ankle. Announced only yesterday, Ike will be shut down for ANOTHER month, while the Mets contemplate whether or not he should undergo microfracture surgery. Like Santana, Davis playing in the final couple of weeks of 2011 will not make or break the Mets; in fact, it’s completely unnecessary that he returns. I say there isn’t any point in rushing him back to play this year. Still, what a blow. Why’d it have to be a case where microfracture surgery is a possibility? The cartilage created by that process is never as strong as the one the body originally possessed. Will Davis be the same? It’s worrisome all right, and all we can do is hope for the best. But the jury is certainly out on whether or not Ike will return to the Mets as the same player he was prior to his injury.

Another issue around the Mets these days involves the closer role And I’m not just referring to now, but for the future as well. Now that K-Rod is gone (and I don’t blame Alderson for dealing Frankie) the role is starting to be exposed as a bit of a weakness. On the one hand we have Bobby Parnell, who since the All-Star break has a 5.40 ERA in his last 10 innings pitched. And on the other, Jason Isringhausen has been even shakier as of late with opponents lighting him up to the tune of a 13.50 ERA in his last 4 frames. I’m beginning to think we took K-Rod a little bit for granted; he was certainly more of a sure thing than these two firemen have been. And it leads me to thinking of next year. The last thing this club needs is a closer who’ll continue to cough up leads and games, it’s been done before here in Flushing and it’s a tired act. The Mets don’t exactly have a closer in the wings if Parnell can’t handle the job, so I ask you Met fans: Is this an area the club will have to address through free agency/trade this winter?

What do you guys have to say? Should the Mets be worried about Santana making a couple of starts at the Major League level when in reality the odds of them making the postseason are slim to none? Are you concerned about whether or not Ike Davis will be able to be the same player he was if he does indeed require microfracture surgery? And should the Mets be eyeing free agents for the closer’s role this offseason, an area where we simply cannot afford to have a weak link? Comment below, and as always my friends, thank you for stopping on by!