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A New York-Sized Problem for Mets

 

Over the last few weeks, there have been some concerns for the best team in the National League.  First it was David Wright going into a slump, forcing Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado to lead the Mets lineup, which they were able to do, but with limited effectiveness.  Then the Mets were faced with an injury to Pedro Martinez, one that could keep him out for a total of 3 weeks (about 10-12 more days).  Now the Mets may be dealing with the biggest problem to face them this season; a potentially season ending injury to one of their aces. 

Tom Glavine has been pitching brilliantly this season, amazing fans with his resurgence to the starting pitching elite.  He was the Mets’ ace when Pedro Martinez was injured, he was the “stopper” when the Mets hit a rough stretch, and now, he’s the latest addition to the Mets’ injury list.  Glavine hasn’t been feeling any pain, and he hasn’t been dealing with much discomfort; his only ailment is coldness in one of his fingers.  That seemingly minor problem could actually be New York-sized. 

The “coldness” in Tom Glavine’s finger is most likely a sign of poor blood circulation to the finger, which is in turn a sign of two potential problems.  The best case scenario for Glavine is if he has a blood clot in his finger.  If it is a blood clot, Glavine would most likely miss a few weeks, while doctors try to figure out how to dissolve it.  The other potential cause of the coldness is an “arterial knot” in Glavine’s left shoulder.  If in fact Glavine has an arterial knot, it would require invasive surgery to fix the problem, and Glavine would certainly miss the rest of this season, with his baseball future being put into jeopardy as well.  Over the next few days Glavine will undergo a whole host of tests, including x-rays, an MRI, and an angiogram to determine what the ailment is and what can be done about it. 

Meanwhile, the Mets need to deal with life without Glavine, and for the time being, without Pedro.  That leaves the starting rotation in shambles, with rookies taking over key roles.  The starting pitchers right now are Steve Trachsel, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, John Maine, Dave Williams, and Glavine’s replacement.  Maine and Dave Williams are rookies, and both have shown some promise, but neither is ready to fill the critical role the Mets will require them to take over.  Veteran Steve Trachsel has been good at times, but the best word to describe him is inconsistent.  That leaves El Duque, and the Mets will need him to be Duke-like if they are going to be good in the stretch run. 

Fortunately, the Mets are comfortably ahead in the NL East, so they don’t need to worry about the here and now, enabling them to focus on the playoffs.  However, if Glavine’s season is over, the Mets’ starting rotation in the playoffs will not be very good, since Pedro would be the ace, with next to nothing consistent behind him.  That means David Wright’s bat better get right quickly, otherwise the projected NL champions might find themselves watching the playoffs at home come mid-October. 

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