NEW YORK -- Billy Wagner is out for the rest of this season and likely all of next.
The New York Mets closer will have surgery after an MRI on Monday showed a torn medial collateral ligament in his pitching elbow has gotten worse during more than a month of rehabilitation. His injury could send the Mets into the free-agent market for a top reliever this winter, perhaps prompting them to pursue Francisco Rodriguez.
Wagner was all that bullpen had going for it. Without him, they're cooked. No way they make the playoffs now, and if they do, they won't get past the first round.
And just for the record, if the Mets want to take K-Rod from the Angels, they can have him.
Originally posted by It's FalseAnd just for the record, if the Mets want to take K-Rod from the Angels, they can have him.
I would hope so. Wanger's contact ends next year anyway, so they do need to start looking for another closer, no matter what. I like Wanger, but even withour the injury, you have to be concerned that he is a 15 year vet in his late 30's. How much does he has left after recovering from Tommy John surgery in the twilight of his career?
It really hurts us bad. But I think we can still win the division based on the fact that we have a more consitent batting lineup as of late compared to the Phillies. The Mets also, IMO, have better starting pitchers. But they need to play better than they did this weekend if they want to avoid a repeat of last year.
I'd love to have Wagner back but I don't think the loss of him has an effect on the playoff race. The Mets are still 10 games over .500 since he got injured. This isn't the same Mets as last season. Some times the starting pitching is good enough to get 7 innings or more, some nights the offense scores 10 runs (like last night), Ayala has closed his last 5 save chances, and they are only one game behind the Brewers should they end up to need to win the Wild Card.
Once they get to the playoffs they might be cooked but it won't be because of a closer it will be because of middle relief so they were probably going to be cooked before Wagner got injured anyway. I think they can still win the first round though. Los Angeles, Arizona, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis or even Houston doesn't worry me in the slightest. The only team that bothers me is Chicago. Of course the Cubs could always realize they are the Cubs and blow it in the NLCS like 2003.
Of course, this could end up being a replay of last year, when Ken Macha was fired, only to be replaced by...Ken Macha! However, I think the odds are strongly against that happening again, as this year the circumstances are significantly different.