Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 17, 2007

The Mets' season really comes to this: the infield, even with Delgado and Valentin scuffling, is strong. Lo Duca will be OK. The starting rotation is adequate, good at its best. Wagner is great, and the pen as a whole is solid despite Heilman's struggles and Schoenweis' self-immolations...but this team will only go as far as Carlos Beltran will take it. Somehow, I can't imagine the Mets winning the division with Beltran hitting as he did in 2005, or worse - or losing it if he hits as he did in April and most of last season.

It's not just Beltran, but he's the key guy in the outfield. The numbers - in April, the Mets outfielders (Beltran, Green, Alou, Chavez, Newhan and Milledge) batted a combined .343/.546/.400. Since May 1, the outfielders - those same six guys plus Gomez, Johnson and Ledee - have batted .231/.356/.296. As we saw vividly in the 2001-04 period, a major league team cannot win anything with that kind of production from its outfielders.

Beltran's 7-year deal looked lousy in 2005, brilliant in years is a long time, so the jury will remain out for a while yet. But there's no question that he's not earning his keep at this moment.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:01 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

You're giving Beltran a bum rap. He's having a perfectly normal year, for him. his lifetime OPS+ is 114. This year it is 112.

He is delivering just about what should be expected. It's your expectations that are the problem.

Posted by: Walter Guest at July 17, 2007 7:02 PM

True enough - the hitting environment has gotten a lot tougher at Shea and around the NL - although that career figure is misleading, including his injury-plagued 2005 and his early years before he learned the strike zone. He's not 22 anymore.

Posted by: The Crank at July 17, 2007 7:13 PM

The starting pitching is probably more towards good than adequate. As a team they're 3rd in ERA in the NL. Reyes and Wright are good enough to produce the offense needed to make the playoffs. Beltran holds the key to success after that.

Posted by: Beeg at July 17, 2007 9:07 PM

Yet another bad Scott Boras deal. Same for Pelfrey.

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at July 17, 2007 9:32 PM

to Walter Guest...for $119 million, my "expectations" for Beltran are a lot higher than .255 batting average

Posted by: Al at July 20, 2007 12:15 PM
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