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What is the David Wright Plan B?

By Mike Silva ~ March 12th, 2012. Filed under: New York Mets.

Sandy Alderson gave reporters a David Wright injury update by indicating he’s in line for an “ultrasound-guided” cortisone shot in New York. Terry Collins was more optimistic, hoping that Wright gets cleared to ramp up baseball activities. Anyone who isn’t preparing for the David Wright Plan B obviously hasn’t spent time covering this team the last few years.

The Mets are doing their best to downplay Wright’s ailing rib cage, but the facts tell a different story. A completely healthy player doesn’t go for an “ultrasound cortisone shot.” So if Wright is out for an extended time once the season starts, what happens at third base?

The obvious answer is Collins could slide Justin Turner over to third until Wright returns. Even though Daniel Murphy is the more experienced of the two at the position, it’s imperative for him to get consistent reps at second, presuming the Mets plan is to have him there for the long-term. Jumping Murphy back-and-forth is what’s stunted his defensive development in the first place.

Turner profiles more as a backup than starter, so would it behoove Collins to see what kids could potentially step up? Remember, Wright could be a free agent at the end of the season, so preparing for life after him isn’t a bad idea.

Both Zach Lutz and Josh Satin play third base. Satin received a cup of coffee in the big league last season. He’s a good stick that has some power and can get on base, but a complete butcher at just about whatever position he plays.

Lutz is equally as good a hitter, if not better, and has started at third his entire MILB career. A concussion ended his 2011 season after just 250 plate appearances, but in that short period he hit .295 with 11 HRs and 31 RBI.

Obviously, Plan B isn’t the direction everyone wants to go. Although Lutz is intriguing, an unhealthy Wright hurts the Mets lineup and his trade value this season. Another injury plagued campaign, and it’s possible the Mets will have an easy decision regarding his $16 million dollar options. One that, unfortunately, will mean the end of Wright’s New York career, and the inability of the franchise to be compensated on the way out.

It’s too early to panic, but the rib cage injury is a bad sign of what’s in store for Wright this upcoming season.


Who is Josh Edgin?

The 25-year old lefty might be the biggest surprise of camp, to date. Drafted in the 30th round in 2010 (Francis Marion University), he’s made the jump from Rookie Ball to High-A. In just over 100 innings he’s averaged 10.9 K/9, 3.3. BB/9 and a 1.88 ERA.

Toby Hyde reports at Mets Minor League Blog that Edgin put up these numbers with two Major League caliber pitches – a plus fastball and a slider.

His fastball sat 92-93, and touched 96 on occasion, with good movement and life down in the zone. His pitching coach, Glen Abbott said he thought it was the best fastball in the South Atlantic League.  It certainly was too much for SAL hitters.  The slider is mid-80s, with both horizontal movement and depth, perhaps too much.  He’ll need to tighten it at least a little to throw more strikes against more advanced hitters. He’s played around with a curve, a changeup and a two-seam fastball, but all were well-below average pitches and barely useful pieces of his arsenal.

Regardless of whether Tim Byrdak is out for an extended period of time, the bullpen could use a second lefty. Right now, Manny Acosta – a right hander – is the best non-Byrdak option for the pen (.673 OPS).

I wouldn’t expect Edgin to make the opening day roster even if he continues to dominate. First, we don’t know how serious Byrdak’s injury really is, and second, Grapefruit League action doesn’t always translate to big league success. Remember Jenrry Mejia dominating the Grapefruit League in 2010?

Terry Collins seems to prefer Garrett Olson.

Olson is a starter turned reliever that has struggled in stints with Baltimore, Seattle and Pittsburgh. His OPS against LH isn’t great (.776) and his walk rate (4.6) was extremely high at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Some old scouting reports from his Baltimore days shows an 89-92 mph fastball, power curveball and changeup.

Baseball America ranked him # 6 prospect the Orioles Top-10 going into 2007.

Keep in mind that he’s been primarily a starter in the minors. Perhaps if he was given extended time in the bullpen it would make a difference.

The best case scenario is Byrdak won’t miss any time, but we may see Edgin sooner rather than later if the need arises.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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