08.30.06

Willie : On Returning, Floyd Might Not Start

Posted in Baseball at 1:08 pm by

(Kaz tells former teammate David Wright that he still can’t find that Salvation Miracle Crusade commercial on YouTube)

You’re not supposed to lose your gig to an injury, but then again, Endy Chavez wasn’t supposed to be a key cog in the Mets running away with the NL East. Newsday’s David Lennon discussed the matter of the oft-hobbled Cliff Floyd prior to the Mets’ 10-5 win at Pete Coors Is A Drunken Facist Field last night.

If Floyd expected his position to be waiting for him upon his return, manager Willie Randolph suggested otherwise.

“I’m not saying he’s going to take Endy’s job,” Randolph said. “A lot depends on how Cliff looks and how he starts to play. But I’m not going to change from what I think is best for the team. When you get to the postseason, you play the best guys, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

That hard-line stance is not shocking from Randolph, who loves Chavez’s defense and the additional boost of energy he brings to the lineup. Chavez, who started in leftfield again last night, is capable of making plays that the less nimble Floyd could not even consider.

Chavez also is batting .310 with a .352 on-base percentage in 106 games, and has delivered in a number of critical situations this season. Floyd, by comparison, has been a disappointment at the plate, hitting .245 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 80 games. And with a potent lineup already in place, overstocked with lefthanded hitters, the Mets don’t really need Floyd.

Randolph dismissed the abundance of lefthanders as a weakness, saying they are capable of doing damage regardless of who is on the mound. But the Mets’ team average sinks 13 points to .260 against lefthanded pitching, and Floyd (.159) and Carlos Delgado (.232) look like they can be neutralized.

“You can’t always have the perfect balance,” Randolph said. “But we can be dominant and we’re going to face a lot of righthanders.”

With a day to go before new additions are no longer post-season eligible, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the Mets might have one last move to make.

The Mets, seeking to upgrade their backup catcher and add infield depth, are talking to the Rockies about acquiring catcher Danny Ardoin and infielder Luis Gonzalez for a minor-league pitcher.

Ardoin, 32, was designated for assignment by the Rockies last Friday. A poor hitter but strong defender, he likely would replace Mike DiFelice. Ramon Castro, the Mets’ primary backup catcher, underwent surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Gonzalez, 27, primarily is a second baseman, but he has played all four infield positions in the past two seasons as well as left field and right. He would give the Mets protection if Jose Valentin again is slowed by his right hamstring injury. Chris Woodward is currently the Mets’ only backup infielder.

In return for Ardoin and Gonzalez, the Rockies likely would receive Class AA right-hander Matt Lindstrom, 26, or Class AA right-hander Henry Owens, 27.

While the Boston papers are packed with references to Reggie Lewis, the LA Times’ Tim Brown and Steven Springer point to David Wells being traded to the Dodgers.

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