Esposito: Mets Weathering DL Poorly

Another day, another Met on the DL. At this rate, Tim Tebow will be patrolling the outfield in Flushing by July.

Perhaps it was convenient Travis d’Arnaud was dispatched to the 10-day disabled list with a bruised right wrist, as it allowed the Mets to recall Rafael Montero to make tonight’s start in lieu of Noah Syndergaard, who is now on the shelf for what might be 2-3 months with a partial tear of his right lat muscle.

But it was also inconvenient that Montero again showed why he is a quintessential quadruple A player, too good for the minors, not good enough for the majors. He was again lit up in his return to the bigs by the Marlins walking the ballpark and giving up five earned runs in just 3.2 innings, yielding seven hits, three walks, and now pitching to a 10.45 ERA after seven appearances this season.

Yes, it is the ultimate irony that the Mets, the team which every other team was jealous of their pitching riches now need to look for pitching. But who knew so many of their great young arms would be spending more days on the DL than they were eligible to pitch.

Yeesh! And pitching does not grow on trees. The choices in Las Vegas do not exactly scream “call me up.” And 29 other franchises are collectively saying, “So? Not my problem.”

The other option would be going shopping in the Retired-But Hopeful Department of leftover starters, with names like Jake Peavy or Doug Pfister heading that list of arms sitting by the couch waiting for a phone call.

 So what to do? We’re sure Mets GM Sandy Alderson is carefully watching the waiver wire to see if anything shakes out of that imaginary tree.

The sports talk shows now get calls wondering why the Mets didn’t re-sign Bartolo Colon, despite his poor showing so far for the Braves this season. Well, he saw the Mets were going to push the young arms, and he wants to be the top Dominican pitcher and ultimately the all-time leader in wins for any Latin hurler, and that just wasn’t going to happen in Flushing this year. And besides, he got quite a bump in the paycheck, now drawing some $12.5 mil from Atlanta.

Who knows? There may yet be a reunion is the Braves fall out of it and go shopping Big Sexy around. But that likely won’t happen until at least June or July, and that will cost a prospect or two.

No, right now the Mets are stuck fending for themselves. They’ve dug a hole and need to dig themselves out.

The sports talk shows also get calls daily lamenting the Mets decision not to re-sign Daniel Murphy to a long-term deal after the 2015 World Series. Really now, did you think Murph’s hot playoff streak was going to sustain itself over the next two seasons? Not even Murph thought so, or he might not have settled for what might be an undervalued three-year deal in Washington. Still, don’t forget that Murph turned down the Mets’ qualifying offer of some $15.9 million, and is making about $12 mil per season. So he got the bigger guarantee, but less per season.

Fortunately for Mets fans, the season is not lost. Not by a long shot. How weird is it, though, the club began this three-game set with the Marlins all tied for second at 12-15 with Miami and the Phillies? Didn’t see that coming, did you?

The Nats are running away at 19-9 at the top of the division and just might go nearly wire-to-wire leaving the Mets to settle for the crumbs of a possible Wild Card finish again. But before that happens, they’d better find some healthy pitchers. Healthy pitchers that know how to win a game would help, too.

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