Mets Diamond Notes: Santana’ Start in Doubt, Andres Torres Not Making ‘Excuses’

By Matt Musico

Like I did yesterday, let’s get your day started right with your daily dose of news about Johan Santana! The southpaw underwent an MRI on his back following his bullpen, and there’s a chance he won’t be making his scheduled start Thursday afternoon against the Rockies, which was the original thought.

It looks as if Jenrry Mejia was the likely candidate to earn the start in place of Santana, but there are talks of Collin McHughpossibly getting the promotion instead, as he has been added to the taxi squad for today’s game. McHugh has split his time in 2012 with both Binghamton and Buffalo, going a combined 7-9 with a 2.88 ERA in 24 starts. All the stars were aligning for Mejia to get this start if it opened up because he pitched last Friday, so he is not only on proper rest, but it also already on the 40-man roster, whereas the Mets would have to create a spot for McHugh if he were to get the call. In seven starts with Buffalo, Mejia is 2-1 with a 1.05 ERA. However, Wally Backman said that McHugh had the best control out of any pitcher on his staff, so that wins out.

At this point, one has to wonder why McHugh’s name is even coming up as a possible candidate to start Thursday. I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve to get his first call up to the Big Leagues and get a taste of “The Show,” but it certainly seems like Alderson and the front office don’t have much confidence in Mejia right now. The organization fooled with his development enough, beginning as a starter, then making him a reliever, and going through the same cycle once he returned from his injury. In my eyes, Jenrry Mejia should hands down get the start if Johan can’t go; not only does he deserve it from the treatment he’s received from the front office, but he’s performed well enough to earn the opportunity. Unfortunately, that won’t happen this time around.

After being the lone left hander in the bullpen since Tim Byrdak went down with his shoulder injury, Josh Edgin will finally get some assistance, as New York recalled southpaw Robert Carson to the team. Jeremy Hefner was placed on the paternity list, as he and his wife are expecting their second child today. That move will prevent a player from being sent back to the minors for the time being, barring a move to make room for McHugh. Although Carson threw only 3 innings in his 2 appearances with the Mets earlier this season before appearing last night, he’s put together a solid resume once he was promoted to Buffalo, as he sports a 1.72 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 10 appearances, spanning 15.2 innings pitched.

Andres Torres has been struggling at the plate, as he returned home to Citi last night after an 0-for-16 road trip. He is 2-for-his-last-24 and said this about his current cold streak (found on MetsBlog):

"“I don’t believe in excuses. But if I just stayed with one [approach] it would be better. Sometimes I go up there and I start thinking so much stuff, it’s hard to focus.”"

I don’t know about you, but that certainly sounds like an excuse to me. There are plenty of reasons why a player will struggle at times throughout a season, I get that. However, if he didn’t want to make an excuse for himself, he simply would have said that he’s just not doing his job right now. Tony Gwynn said in his book, The Art of Hitting, when he was in a slump, he would just admit that he sucks at that point in time. Period. Don’t you like it when it’s simple like that? So, Andres, just tell us that you’re not doing your job right now. Everyone knows it, so just work on fixing it.

In yesterday’s Diamond Notes, we talked about the possibility of Nick Swisher staying with the Yankees, as he will likely become a free agent in the winter. He fits a lot of the needs the Mets have, so it could be worth a look, but MLB Trade Rumors reported that Swish is looking for a deal similar to that of Jayson Werth (7-years/$126 million). If that’s the case, the Yankees will bow out of the conversation right there. So, you know that if the Yanks won’t talk to that kind of money, the Mets certainly won’t.