You may or may not have heard: Zack Wheeler was pretty good in his debut. That was on top of Matt Harvey being otherworldly earlier that same day. On what was clearly the best day of this benighted 2013 season, Mets fan and Mets player alike got a personal jolt from these two electrifying performances. Evidence of the clubhouse digging it was the sight of half the team surrounding Wheeler and thoroughly drenching him in beer as he spoke with his parents post-game. Aside from being a horrid waste of perfectly good alcohol, the move made Justin Turner’s tiresome pie ritual look like kid stuff.
Even before Wheeler’s uniform had dried out, it was announced that a small flurry of roster moves had been made. 1 – Wheeler was sent back to Las Vegas temporarily to get the squad back to 25 men. Have no fear: this is basically a paper move which will be rectified by the time his turn comes up again. 2 – Andrew Brown was recalled and Collin Cowgill was designated for assignment – “DFA’d” in the current shorthand. 3 – Eric Young, Jr. was acquired from Colorado for the previously DFA’d Collin McHugh. That’s an awful lot to pack in in nine-and-a-half hours. In addition, now there is some faint talk of moving the inconsistent and luckless Shaun Marcum, fresh off his 9th consecutive loss, to the bullpen or even – gasp! – recognizing his four million dollar contract as a sunk cost and DFAing him. All this has allowed us to finally see Sandy Alderson in action. To your intrepid columnist, this was a long time coming
Now, Eric Young, Jr. is not the long-awaited solution to the outfield problem. He is a serviceable if unspectacular player who plays decent defense, is fast enough to steal a few bases and provide sorely needed leadoff ability, at basically replacement level. The fact that Alderson could bring anything back for McHugh makes the Mets a winner in the deal. Beyond the names and talent levels of the people involved, the acquisition of Young looks to be a precursor to a wider set of moves coming in the next few months. This morning, Metsblog – which seems to have an ear for these things — put down the plan in the most concrete terms we’ve heard since Sandy Alderson came aboard. Heady stuff: if this is the way it plays out, then the offseason might look brighter than it has since the heyday of Omar Minaya.
All of which means that if moves are made as swiftly and decisively as they were on Tuesday night, we Met fans may have to get used to a whole new set of circumstances. We may have to get used to a line of quality pitchers coming through the pipeline. We might have to expect more than a few intelligent moves. We may be able to marvel at what can be done with somewhat looser purse strings – though that can’t really be counted on or trusted until the Wlipon/Katz cadre is finally out of the picture, whenever that might be.
I think we can handle it; I’d certainly love to find out.
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