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Victor's Elbow, Marty's Bag

Mike SteffanosMonday, May 15, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Two items of interest for Mets fans on this off day in the schedule: Zambrano's surgery and an interesting Marty Noble Mailbag feature on Mets.com.

AP: Victor has his elbow surgery
Victor Zambrano underwent surgery to replace the torn elbow tendon today. According to the Associated Press:

During the operation, Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek repaired the tendon, removed bone spurs and replaced the ligament.

As you probably already know, Victor will miss the rest of the 2006 season.

Mets.com: Noble's Mailbag full of Milledge
Marty Noble once again answers the questions of the Great Unwashed, and it seems he's had many e-mails looking to either call up Lastings Milledge or trade him. A reader that asked him if he would be willing to "pull the trigger" on a trade of Milledge for Livan Hernandez rightfully earns the wrath of Marty:

I wouldn't even hold the gun on what you've proposed, much less pull the trigger. You want to trade a 21-year-old everyday player who certainly could have a chance to play regularly on the Major League level next season for a 31-year-old -- if his date of birth is accurate -- pitcher with more than 2,000 innings worked.

That is an extreme case of win today and pay tomorrow. Willis is the only available starting pitcher -- if he really is available -- I would accept if I were dealing Milledge ... repeat if I were dealing Milledge.

... Ever since rotisserie baseball allowed the common folk to play general manager, there is a sense of being obliged to make or suggest deals. General managers do more than make trades. Sometimes, they sit back and let young talent develop. See David Wright, Jose Reyes, Aaron Heilman and Bannister.

I can't really blame Noble for getting a little annoyed, but far-fetched trade ideas have been around a lot longer than rotisserie baseball. I atually believe sports talk radio has had more of an impact on this kind of talk, for whatever that's worth. Oh, and the "common folk" reference may have been just a little condescending. Still, I love the way Noble delivers an opinion.

There were some questions on Mike Pelfrey, too. One asked if Pelfrey should be brought up immediately, as he is probably already a better choice than Jose Lima:

No wine before its time. The answer to your question is, because it's not yet time to subject Pelfrey to the challenges of pitching in New York. He might have a better chance than Lima to win one game in May. Give him another month. He might have a better chance than Lima to win two or three.

There's a reason that clubs don't allow fans to vote on personnel decisions, I guess. Noble is correct here. Even if Pelfrey can immediately overcome his recent struggles in 2 of his 4 Double-A starts, time is on his side. The more time you give him to develop, the better chance you have of him being a useful starter for the Mets.

Faith and Fear in Flushing: TV and the Mets
I meant to link to this in my earlier post and forgot. Greg has a really good one today interweaving a tribute to great television with commentary on the Mets.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Comments (7)

Teams have a modus operandi....We know well what the yanks do, but the Mets?

Omar has (as an expo) traded early and late. Last yr he just signed discards Graves, Offerman and santiago giving them a chance....this yr those slots are Valentin, Gonzo and Lima. Gonzo is only 31...interesting that he could turn into rick reed (far fetched) in terms of his age.

BUT note also heilman, seo Bell, Ring also got good sized chances.

Given last yrs trends McLane could be up in July if needed. Ditto Milledge.

Much is made of Benson, but what about Jae? Surely he also would be valuable too right now.

My thunder was stolen over at the Metroplitans...So I re-iterate:
I still think Heilman stays in the pen in his 'comfort zone', in order to maintain a current trade value. Its proable that HE is the player (PTBNL) who is targeted to go in trade for Livian or Joel Pinero. And if he starts (and fails) that value plummets.

At Metropolitans ...the player targeted was Zito and the roto package Heilman, Diaz and other. I wonder how Diaz a former 2nd baseman would do at 1st?

On the St Lou series....their pitchers are getting hit too.

I have always been on the ligt side when I typed in to you, with hope I can bring a smile or two, but today I like to be a little serious. This year with almost everyone saying it's the METS year, some part of me was saying, not yet. We will be better than last year, but I believe next year and the years to follow will be the METS year and years. It will all come together if we allow the kids to develop and make a solid club for years to come. I would'nt want them to push so hard to win this year at all cost's and be a dead team for the next five or so. We are much better than last year and going to get better and better if we don't sell away the farm. I can accept a second place this year knowing it made us stronger for maybe two or more W.S.in a row.We have a good team and it's going to get better because age is on our side. If we let them grow and become a great team for years to come.

Ed -- I just think it's a lot harder to trade now than it used to be. When a team sells off their players, they're admitting to the fans that they quit on the year, and hurting their gate. Not to mention that there are less great teams than there used to be, so more teams are in it, and therefore not sellers. Hardly any big deals went down last year, even at the deadline. I wouldn't trade Heiman until I believe Julio is a legit setup man. Sorry, I just don't right now. I'm not real big on speculating on trades anyway, as you've already figured out by now. You're right about the SL pitchers.

I think less people complain about Seo because they like Sanchez.
Rev -- I'm not convinced this our year, either. Some things will have to break our way. I still have a real good feeling about this team, and think they can win WITH the kids. They'll have to make some moves, but with due respect to Ed, I hope not Heilman, who I think is only scratching his potential.

They seem commited to holding on to Milledge, Pelfrey and some other key young guys. I don't think there is ANY CHANCE Omar will go the Steve Phillips route. I think the Mets are commited to a plan that combines player development with strategic trades and signings, and I honestly believe that's always the best approach. I'm really optimistic about this team. I'm like you. Sometimes I live and die a little too much on a day by day basis, but I really believe it's possible to make a run this year AND compete for the next few years.

Just in case I'm having my Mom take extra batting practice to get ready for a possible comeback. She was complaining about blisters today so I knocked her on her ass with the next pitch. She needs to be tougher... (I know we were doing serious, but it's good to laugh and keep things in perspective, too.)
Ed and Rev -- I haven't been feeling good lately and I know not all my responses to comments are all that insightful, but you 2 guys make my day with the intelligent dialogue, thanks to you and the other regular commenters.

I'll keep you in my prayers, Hope you feel better.Good Night

I'm fine Rev. I'm like a cockroach, you can't kill me. Thank you, though.

Any chance that during the operation they could have installed a pitching arm and brain???

Remember Zambrano those first couple of games with the Mets when he had velocity? I'd be curious to see what he looks like when he comes back -- if he comes back.

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