Thursday, June 20, 2013

Addition By Subtraction

Following the enthusiasm generated by what is now being referred to in Mets circles as "Super Tuesday," the Mets went back out on Wednesday and looked like the same old annoying Mets.

Tuesday's pair of wins were punctuated by a number of roster moves, designed to get rid of a lot of the flotsam that hadn't proved useful at all to this point. Gone was Collin McHugh, who nobody will miss. After being designated for assignment on Sunday, McHugh was traded away altogether, gone to the Colorados for Eric Young, Jr. This may be because all the Colorados remember of McHugh is his ML Debut last year, but in reality, that Alderson was able to net a can of beans in return for McHugh is a victory in and of itself. McHugh had a great first game and was patently awful from there, culminating with his spending a few weeks either rotting on the bench or getting shelled by the Marlins before being deemed expendable.

Also gone was Collin Cowgill, who went from the outhouse to the doghouse pretty quickly. After his Grand Slam on Opening Day, Cowgill basically didn't hit anything to the point where he was sent to AAA. After a few middling weeks in Las Vegas, Cowgill returned and showed that his time in the minors made little impression, since he still couldn't hit. Unfortunately, the Mets already have a full stash of Outfielders who can't hit, so Cowgill was similarly designated for assignment, where he will either be sent back to the minors for the duration or released outright, remembered fondly if only for that Grand Slam. Andrew Brown replaces Cowgill, although I can't imagine this is anything more than a temporary move to have a warm body around, since Brown, like Cowgill, was already here and didn't impress anyone. I figure he will stick around for a week or two before the Mets finally decide they've had enough of him too, and move on to Plan Q (whatever that is).

Scott Atchison, who up to yesterday was only known as the oldest-looking Met in team history, was placed on the DL after not actually throwing a pitch since being removed from the DL. Atchison was set to start the 7th inning of the nightcap before coming up with a groin pull, and was last seen grousing and grumbling as he was led off the field. Had there not been a baseball game going on, one might have seen that scene and assumed he'd misplaced his bifocals somewhere. Replacing him, I'm not quite sure yet because I didn't bother do to my due diligence. Rest assured he will probably do something to draw my ire at some point, since this is a prerequisite for being a Met relief pitcher.

Shaun Marcum is still around, however, and the fact that he has tenure and a contract may be the only thing working in his favor right now. Wednesday night's start against the Braves was pretty similar to several of his other starts, in which he somehow allowed a 2-out rally to snowball into multiple runs, gave up a boatload of hits, looked sweaty and uncomfortable and took another loss, falling to 0-9 on the season, which is almost unconscionable for a pitcher of some reasonable acclaim. With Zack Wheeler now in the fold and immediately one of the top 3 pitchers on the staff (anointing him this status really isn't so much of a stretch), Marcum is on thin ice once the Mets finally wise up and drop this asinine 6-man rotation idea. Jeremy Hefner is as well, and since Hefner has relieved and is similarly inconsistent without Marcum's service time, he is, perhaps, the odd man out. I won't argue, but in his defense, Hefner has pitched better than Marcum a majority of the time, and even has a win to show for it. Though when he's bad, he may also be worse than Marcum. Dillon Gee has righted his ship and removed his name from any such jeopardy.

Point is, the wheels are in motion. It's too late to save this season, but everyone still wants to do the best they can and spout cliches win ballgames. The dispensation of McHugh and Cowgill are a nice start in the right direction of clearing out some of the crap and giving some new faces a chance. They may not be better than the guys they're replacing, but to this point they can't possibly be much worse.

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