J. J. Putz just can't seem to adjust to the National League. Yesterday. he entered the game in the eighth with the Mets leading by two and a runner on third. Putz surrendered an infield single, a single to center, a single to center, and another single to center. Then, after intentionally walking the next batter, he was removed from the game with the Mets trailing by two runs. Before Putz's slide worsens, the Mets need to give serious consideration to trading him. His ERA is up to 4.76, and he's making Aaron Heilman look good. In his place, make Parnell the setup man.
In the minors, though St. Lucie won the performance of the top Mets prospects in Triple-A, Double-A, and their top Single-A team has cast doubts on the Mets farm system. Buffalo and Binghamton have been pathetic, and in St. Lucie five of yesterday's starters were hitting from .209 to .253. Francisco Pena, a young catcher who received a lot of publicity when he was signed is hitting only .214. And Reese Havens didn't even play — he's in the midst of a batting slump.
Why does Minaya continue to struggle to build a viable farm system? It seems to be going downhill, not up. And in the upcoming June draft, the Mets don't even have a first-round draft choice: They lost that when they signed Francisco Rodriguez.
The bottom line: The Mets organization is in trouble.
In Buffalo, the weather can't be blamed for yesterday's loss. On a sunny, 73-degree day, Jonathon Niese, who some consider the Mets top pitching prospect, lost his fifth without a win, giving up six runs in six innings to propel the Bisons to their thirty-fifth loss.
One bright spot on that dismal day were that Larry Broadway, the Mets latest acquisition whom Mets management said would be a starter pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief. He faced two batters. The second singled but was thrown out at second, ending the inning.
Elmer Dessens, a name never mentioned by the big club as a possible call-up pitched the final inning. Not a runner reached base, lowering his ERA to 1.05. How low must he go before the big club recognizes his success?