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Milledge Might Be On the Horizon

Mike SteffanosTuesday, April 25, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

In Newsday, David Lennon cites manager Willie Randolph that in the event Carlos Beltran goes on the DL Friday, Lastings Milledge could possibly be called up as a replacement. As recently as a couple of days ago, this was something the team was supposedly not even considering.

I've been on record as someone who is in favor of this move, as bringing Victor Diaz up would not solve the problem of having someone else on the roster besides Endy Chavez who is capable of playing CF. Having said that, I do understand that the fact that Milledge isn't on the 40-man roster is a large obstacle to bringing him up. Milledge would have to be added to the 40-man in order to be eligible for call-up, and there's not a lot of dead weight on it right now. Since removing a player currently on the 40-man would expose him to waivers and quite likely mean losing him to another team, this is not an easy call.

If you look at the 40-man for players who are currently not on the 25-man active roster, we see pitchers Heath Bell, Bartolome Fortunato, Anderson Garcia, Philip Humber, Matt Lindstrom, John Maine, Henry Owens, Mike Pelfrey, Juan Perez, Royce Ring, Steve Schmoll and Alay Soler. (Juan Padilla, on the 60-day DL, doesn't count against the 40.) None of these would likely survive waivers and stay with the team. As for the position players, you have Anderson Hernandez, Jeff Keppinger and Victor Diaz. None of them would pass through waivers, either.

So as much as I think Milledge would be the best choice as a replacement for Beltran -- the only real choice in my mind -- I understand that Omar and Willie have a difficult choice here. Not only do they have to question whether Milledge is ready for the challenge, they have to decide if it's worth it to lose a player when Beltran will return to the team fairly quickly.

Daily News: Zambrano will pitch against the Braves
According to Adam Rubin, the Mets will not use the off day Thursday to skip Victor Zambrano's start against the Braves this weekend. Rubin cites GM Omar Minaya that although Zambrano will not be allowed to keep pitching poorly indefinitely, the Mets' desire to keep Aaron Heilman in their strong bullpen somewhat limits their options.

Rubin also reports that 2004 first round draft pick Phil Humber pitched in an intersquad game in St. Lucie yesterday. Humber will pitch in 2 more intersquad games and, if all goes well, will be cleared to pitch in extended spring training games. Rubin quotes Humber, who is pleased with his progress:

It's nice to pitch to hitters and have defense behind you. My arm has been 100% for a month or a month and a half.

Daily News: Close to a Stadium Deal
Michael Saul reports that the City Council is expected to approve the stadium deal for both the Mets and Yankees tomorrow.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets
Pro Sports Daily Mets

Comments (12)


Nice post. The reason milledge is even considered is the non-play of Chavez. Let us re-visit that Chavez has given way to Termel Sledge in Mon then Ryan Church. And lost his spot in Philly. He was waived by SP in 01. Valentin (and Floyd ) are not helping.

THE REAL issue is the .411 hitting milledge who was the star of Spring tng might cause us (fans) to boo Beltran. Luckily the Mets have played milledge at all 3 OF spots in Norfolk. Milledge has other advantages in that he can lead off and is the best defensive option.

I really like your analysis of the dead weight. steve Schmoll and Fortunato are easy discards as is Chavez. By waiving/trading Chavez and Fortunato you can call up Diaz to platoon in LF, and milledge can audition in CF.

I am interested in seeing if Omar deals for Zach day. Again a trade which must happen (designated for assignment), potentially could be for Valentin, Fortunato, or even Iriki (unlikely)who was also designated.

This off season, Floyd, Glavine, Trachsel are FA. VZ is already a question mark so Heilman and potentially Day and Maine (and Pelfrey) could figure into a plan for 2007. Also I'd be interested in Day as insurance for VZ. Comments would lead me to believe Jorge, Juan Perez and heath bell could be options if Heilman Ascends into the rotation. Vz given the 40 man roster jam would have to be dealt. I'd like to see Wright and Delgado switched in the line up, then Nady and floyd.

Floyd's pending FA looms large too, except that Diaz and Milledge easily replace him. Though I cant take this thought too seriously I find a swap of Floyd/Matsui and Sorianoor Vidro intriguing.

Mike...another thought...I would easily release Valentin in a heartbeat to bring Milledge up....

do you really want to give up on floyd right now? It's amazing how a guy will struggle for 1 month and fans are ready to dump him -- we're already not going to have the guy past this season for $$ reasons. It's so easy to forget that he's been an excellent player for the Mets while healthy. On the other hand, Soriano is a horribly overated player and can't play LF or 2B worth a damn -- and you'd have the same problem that he wants to play 2B over Vidro. Sure I think most people would consider making the deal you suggest if not only b/c Vidro is much better than Kaz in almost all aspects of the game... but my goodness are you down on floyd.

No I love Floyd. I really do. I dont like Soriano at all, but I can see Vidro playing 2B in NY. The whole Kaz Matsui experiment would never have happened had Luis Castillo signed as a FA.

And Its not that I want to dump him, after all he will get hot. His track record speaks for itself. But my main point is he will not be re-signed. diaz or milledge will have his LF spot. We need a lefty bat, but that salary I bet will be for a FA starter.

I still like Fortunato. He's coming back from surgery and is building back strength, but throws some gas. I could see Valentin going. I'm sure if they're commited to bringing up Milledge they can find room -- I was just pointing out the difficulty.

If you let me play Devil's advocate here, even though I think the best move is calling Milledge up, I can see the other side of the arguement. He started in A-ball last year, and only wound up with a half season in Double-A. They don't want to push him too fast, despite all of his success and promise. Don't get me wrong, I still say it's the right move. Chavez is a useful fifth outfielder, but is killing the Mets playing every day. Still, I can see the logic of those that don't want to rush him. It's a tough decision.

Pros & Cons
Milledge is hot right now, he had Spr with this group anyway.
Cons; What if he fails to meet expectations.

Other thoughts: There is a new generation of MLB out there, Zimmerman, Chad Cordero, Huston street, Francouer, McCann, Devine, even Reyes and Wright who spent very little time in the minors. Bottom line is does he give you more than Endy Chavez?

I agree, I think they need to bring him up if Beltran goes on the DL. I'm just looking at both sides. Reyes is a good example of a kid that was rushed and could have benefitted from more development, however Milledge compares more to Wright.

Actually Mike,...and this IS scary.........

Wright was considered a disappointment going into 2004.

Milledge has NEVER put up disappointing numbers...

And in the case of all 3 they all blossomed at AA (where real prospects go)and as such AAA is usually a segway to the majors or additional seasoning for such as 'Vic Diaz' whose defense or bat is ready but other phase of the game needs work. Plus extra mentoring (see sandy martinez/Gerald Williams) is freely available.

I meant he's like Wright in that he has a maturity level and a baseball savvy, whereas Reyes is more of a diamond in the rough. I think Milledge is going to be like Wright and make an immediate impact.

Irony. Milledge fell to the Mets because of questions on his attitude/maturity. Talent wise he should have been top 3.

I was reading the other day how he went to Heath Bell and asked Bell's advice on how pitchers were pitching him -- he's not even in a slump, he's hitting really well but wants to do even better. He spends a lot of time talking baseball and trying to get an edge.

Everyone in the media wants to talk about the free agents the Mets signed, but you look at the youth on this team, and what's coming with Milledge and Pelfrey, and to me that's the real story.


And now the trend is to lock up the youngsters. Not alot of FA on the horizon.

On another subject Pedro vs clemens: I was listening to a debate and I wanted to say Pedro is near 10yrs younger than Clemens. Where was Clemens 10 yrs ago....Toronto.

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