May 14, 2007

The Mets Have Depth

Mark Herrmann at Newsday, writes about the Mets and their depth on the bench and in the minors:

Sunday typically is a day of rest for big-league clubs, a time when veterans get time off. Mike Piazza used to get held out so often that Bobby Valentine, then the Mets' manager, joked that complaints were pouring in from fans who bought the Sunday ticket package

The Mets have more depth than the Brewers, who lost two of three this weekend. The latter used two lefthanded batters, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Craig Counsell, as pinch hitters against Perez, a lefthander, and came up empty. The Mets, on the other hand, reached into the minors for Gomez and came up aces.

Credit the Mets' culture for developing an extra like him -- Gomez's batting average has steadily improved through his five years in pro ball -- and for making him feel so comfortable as an emergency call-up (Alou's quadriceps is barking and top prospect Lastings Milledge is hurting).

Good teams run deep. Depth keeps them fresh and helps them take chances. For instance, the Mets were (mistakenly, it turns out) so confident in Milledge last year that they traded rightfielder Xavier Nady for reliever Roberto Hernandez. They got Perez as a throw-in. If Perez keeps pitching like this, that 2006 deal will be the best move of 2007.

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