Mets officials did broach minors with Ollie

May, 16, 2010
5/16/10
12:08
AM ET
General Manager Omar Minaya did raise the prospect with Oliver Perez of him going to Triple-A Buffalo, but the southpaw indicated he had no interest in working out his trouble in the minors. Perez had the right to refuse any minor league assignment, so the Mets will leave Perez in the bullpen instead.

“We told him it was one of the options,” Minaya acknowledged to ESPNNewYork.com.

ANIMAL INSTINCT: Chris Carter will start in right field over Jeff Francoeur in Sunday’s series finale against the Florida Marlins. And Francoeur, who played in every game for the Atlanta Braves in 2006 and ’07 and never likes sitting, doesn’t mind watching this time.

Despite taking early batting practice Saturday at Sun Life Stadium, Francoeur went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .215. After talking extensively with Jerry Manuel and then Carlos Beltran about hitting before the game, Francoeur tried crouching more during Saturday’s game.

He concluded after Saturday’s subpar showing that he just needs to tune out all the recommendations and go with what feels right without thinking about things.

"I’ve tried too many different things,” Francoeur said.


“I just have to get back to swinging better. I had a good first month and I’ve had just an awful two weeks. It’s been frustrating, especially when you’re losing these games like this and you have some chances to drive guys in. I’ve got to come in and hopefully relax tomorrow and watch a baseball game.

“I’ve been looking at a lot of film, trying to see what I’m doing mechanically. I think, to be honest with you, I’ve just got to get back to feeling comfortable as far as getting in the box and doing exactly what I did last year and really the first month this year. I’ve tried so many different things, and you get to listening to so many different people when you’re not doing well -- you have everybody trying to get in your ear. I think I just have to get back to what feels comfortable to me and go from there.

“For me, what’s frustrating is a lot of times in my career it’s been a lot of pitch selection. But tonight you get 2-0 counts, you get 3-1 counts, and I’m not able to put good wood on the ball. That’s what’s frustrating. I haven’t been able to ‘barrel’ anything for two weeks.”

Francoeur also noted he’s been standing too far off the plate, leaving him little protection on sliders.

Carter will make his first start since Tuesday’s promotion. With a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning Saturday, he’s now appeared in five straight games in that role and is 2-for-5.

Carter is considered a solid bat, but below average fielder, whether at first base or a corner outfield spot.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Rod Barajas took responsibility for getting thrown out by left fielder Chris Coghlan trying to stretch a hit into the corner into a double to lead off the ninth inning with the Mets trailing by three runs.

“First of all, it was dumb baserunning,” Barajas said. “Bottom line, unless you know you can get there -- you’re 100 percent sure you can make it to second base -- being down three runs you stay at first. I know that. I’ve been taught that. And I’ve seen guys make those mistakes and I sit back and I’m like, ‘What are you thinking?’ Well, I’m sure we had 24 guys doing the same thing. It was bad. There’s no excuse for it. Off the bat I was just thinking, ‘two.’ I thought I could make it, but obviously I was wrong.”

WRIGHT TRACK: David Wright, who took early batting practice along with Francoeur, looked like he had a breakout game. He had a second-inning homer, his first since going deep off of Johnny Cueto in Cincinnati on May 5, to snap an 0-for-9 drought. He contributed a sacrifice fly an inning later and went 2-for-3. Of course, the out -- in his final at-bat -- was a strikeout against Clay Hensley. That extended Wright’s streak of strikeouts to 12 games. That’s one short of matching his career high, which happened to be set earlier this season.

“That’s kind of been the story personally for me this year,” Wright said. “I feel good one day and not so good the next. It’s a matter of trying to string it together -- try to go two games, and then after that three games, and then feel good for an extended period of time.”

SOME BENDING ON MEJIA? Manuel, who has been staunch in saying Jenrry Mejia would remain in the major league bullpen, wasn't as definitive about that after Saturday's game. The manager allowed for a small possibility of Mejia to go to the minors to stretch out as a starting pitcher.

"We'll have to see obviously what direction we go, and then that will determine also how we feel the bullpen fits," Manuel said. "We'll do everything we can to keep it in a place where we feel very good about it, like we did coming out of spring training."

ODDS & ENDS: Jason Bay has a quiet nine-game hitting streak. … The Mets ensured their sixth straight loss in a road series.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Carlos Torres
WINS ERA SO IP
2 1.86 12 9
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Lagares .314
HRL. Duda 3
RBID. Wright 10
RE. Young Jr. 14
OPSJ. Lagares .816
ERAJ. Niese 2.84
SOB. Colon 18

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