The open of the 2010 season had many fans of the New York Metropolitans up in arms.

The starting first baseman and clean-up hitter was none other than Mike Jacobs. Gary Matthews, Jr. was the starting center fielder. Sean Green, coming off a career-worst season in many respects, was in the bullpen. Frank Catalanotto was the team’s prime pinch hitting option, instead of Chris Carter, who displayed his offensive prowess during Spring Training.

Phenom first baseman Ike Davis was in Triple-A, as Atlanta Braves prospect Jason Heyward, held in much the same regard to that organization, was making the Turner Field outfield his new stomping grounds. Manager Jerry Manuel attempted to transform one of the league’s best leadoff men into a No. 3 hitter. Angel Pagan was being placed sixth or lower in the lineup on a nightly basis, even after proving that he can be an asset to the top of the order with his high OBP and low strikeout numbers.

Finally, top starting pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia, 20, was facing major league competition, but as a reliever. Not only was Mejia’s stamina being negatively effected, but Manuel demanded that Mejia only throw his fastball, stunting the development of the secondary pitches he will need as a starting pitcher as his career develops.

Soon, however, GM Omar Minaya and Manuel started to wake up.

As the first week of the season concluded, so did Gary Matthews’ career as a starting major league outfielder. Angel Pagan assumed his duties and hasn’t relinquished them since.

After appearing in one game for the Mets in April and allowing a home run, Sean Green was placed on the Disabled List with a “right side injury.” He has yet to resume baseball activities.

Next, after seven games, seven strikeouts, and a .208 clip, Mike Jacobs was designated for assignment. Days later, 23-year-old Ike Davis was called up from Triple-A Buffalo. Davis has been the starting first baseman ever since.

The bench that consisted of Frank Catalanotto (batting .160), and Gary Matthews (.190) was eventually broken up. Catalanotto was DFA’d in favor of Chris Carter, who adds a tremendous amount of pop off the bench. Catalanotto retired just days later. Gary Matthews also was DFA’d in June, and career minor leaguer Jesus Feliciano was recalled to take his place.

After 20 games, the “Jose Reyes Batting Third” mission was aborted by Jerry Manuel. Reyes hit just .207 and sported an OBP of just .253 in 82 at bats. Upon returning to the leadoff spot on May 15, he’s batted .337 with an OPS of almost .900. The leadoff pep is back in his step.

“I am home,” Reyes said.

With Luis Castillo on the Disabled List, the two hole was no longer being held hostage. Angel Pagan was able to grab a hold on it June 2nd, and has remained there since. He has batted .300 since the move.

The most recent, and arguably most important, of the slue of corrections made by the Mets before the halfway point this season is the demotion of pitcher Jenrry Mejia. Mejia appeared in 30 games in relief this season. His lack of control proved to bite him on a few occasions, but Mejia was one of the most reliable arms in the pen during his time in New York.

Omar Minaya made the move after losing 4-0 to the Yankees Sunday. He explained to the media later that night, “We just felt that it was the right time to get him down there and continue his development,” he said. “He’s done very well here. We see him long-term as a starter.”

Mejia was pleased with the move as well.

“It’s not like they’re sending me down because I didn’t do my job. I want to be a starter.”, Mejia commented after learning of the move.

It’s no secret the Mets are looking to bolster their rotation with hopes of becoming the team to beat in the National League East division. The question now begs to be asked.

Is Mejia being sent down and converted to a starter to showcase him to other teams?

Other teams certainly have interest in Mejia. Will Omar Minaya be willing to part with the 20-year-old top-prospect in order to win in 2010? Will the Mets be able to land a top starter in New York without dealing Mejia?

Minaya and every Mets fan would be elated with a playoff appearance in 2010. It would be the team’s first since the magical 2006 season. However, trading away the franchise’s largest chip at age 20 could prove to be detrimental to the future.



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