Carlos Beltran went a pretty uneventful 0-for-4 in his most recent series against the New York Mets. In fact, Beltran's most memorable act from the past few days was when he suggested to appeal Andres Torres' ninth-inning double on Monday, thinking that he saw Torres miss first base. Torres was called out, and the Mets lost 5-4.
I've heard a lot of Mets fans angered at the fact that Beltran is succeeding and outlasting expectations for the Cardinals in 2012. "He obviously wasn't trying in New York," I've heard. Did you know that Carlos Beltran earned five All-Star appearances in his 6+ years with the Mets? That's right. The guy that bloggers chastised and callers complained about to WFAN year after year was elected to five All-Star games. The only years he didn't make it? 2010, when he was injured for more than half the season and 2008, a year he hit 27 home runs and 112 RBIs. Talk about an "off-year."
As Mets Extra host Ed Coleman said on CardsBlog.com Wednesday morning, "The thing was they got a pretty good pitcher for Beltran. He was never going to stay in New York so they used him at the trading deadline to bring back a pretty good young pitcher [Zack Wheeler] who will probably be in the Major Leagues at some point next year. When the fans see Wheeler, they'll appreciate the value of Beltran more... "
I have not had the opportunity of seeing Zack Wheeler pitch live yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing his progress over the coming months. I asked Mets GM Sandy Alderson a couple of weeks ago if he thought there's a shot that Wheeler could be in the rotation next spring. He explained that the organization isn't ruling anyone out at this point, and particularly with the likely possibility that Mike Pelfrey's contract is non-tendered, having Wheeler on the Major League roster is certainly a possibility.
The Mets might not be in the playoffs in 2012, but they have taken many positive strides since trading Carlos Beltran just over a year ago. They're still a very young and inexperienced team, but a talented one. Ruben Tejada has made many people forget about the fact that Jose Reyes left for the struggling Miami Marlins, and guys like Matt Harvey and R.A. Dickey have given a great amount of hope to Mets fans that their rotation, if healthy, has the potential to be one of the best in the National League in 2013.
It absolutely gets frustrating to sit here, year after year, wondering when I'll stop preaching an Obama-like message of "hope and change." The reality is it's impossible to measure how close the Mets are back to winning. I thought the first half of this season and certainly events like the no-hitter were good signs, but they don't mean anything until the losses stop piling up. As for the next few weeks, I'm going to enjoy what I can with the Mets. At the end of the day, they gave us far more than we were expecting in 2012, and I've loved (almost) every minute of it.