Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Where is Alay Soler?

I was ticked when Heilman threw away that ball last night, allowing Phillies fans to continue believing that they have a chnace this season, but it's time to be realistic about this. The Mets play the Phils about 17 more times this season, and the Phillies will never be hotter this season than they were coming into last night's game. Yes, it stinks that we didn't get a win on a night when Pedro pitched, and our heretofore leakproof 'pen sprung a couple leaks, but I believe the Mets put a little shock into the Phils system.

The Phillies won't forget how Delgado made Flash look 38 again, and that if not for a lousy call by the homeplate umpire, the Mets would have scored at least another run.

I'm still focused on the back end of our rotation. If the Mets really want to make a run at this, we need a reliable guy to fill at least one of the two spots. Lima and Gonzalez are not answers, and Bannister and Maine don't exactly get me excited either. I understand they want to have a little patience with Pelfrey, but what I'm really confused about is why Alay Soler isn't on this club right now. Here's a guy who, although he's missed some time due to some immigration problems, went 10-4 with a 2.01 ERA in 18 games in 2003 for for Pinar Del Rio of the Cuban League. In case we forgot, the WBC proved that the Cuban league isn't exactly made up of a bunch of amateurs.

Jim Duquette signed Soler to a three-year, $2.8 million deal in 2004, but he was stranded in the Dominican Republic for a year and half due to some shenanigans by the people who were supposed to help him get his papers pushed through. But it seems like Soler hasn't missed a beat. He made five starts for St. Lucie this season and posted a .064 ERA. Now in AA, he struck out nine batters in 6 2/3, allowing just one run. Maybe Omar feels it's too soon to have him skip AAA and bring him up to the big club, but I think this guy has already pitched at the big league level in Cuba, and these past seven starts should be viewed as rehab starts and the level they were pitched at should be ignored. It is not an ideal situation but when you have all these injuries he looks like he has a much bigger upside than Jose Lima.

I know I'm not alone. Metstradamus has a poll up and at last check Soler was the leading vote getter as the best option for the Mets to help the back of the rotation. By the way, Metstradamus should be a daily read for Mets fans, if for no other reason than his hilarious daily hate list.

Anyway, Tommy Glavine throws tonight against Cory Lidle. Lidle (3-3, 4.17 ERA) has been in the news recently for saying that Barry Bonds's chase of the homerun record isn't "legitimate". Impressive. By the way, I'm also impressed that I haven't heard a peep about Tom Glavine going on extra days rest tonight. Nice.

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