Sandy Alderson: 'Feeling the pain' of Mets' Marlins-induced spiral
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Mets general manager Sandy Alderson offered harsh words during a wide-ranging interview that spanned nearly 40 minutes on WFAN radio Monday, one day after a roster shake-up prompted by yet another embarrassing sweep to the lowly Marlins.
Alderson said he has been "feeling the pain" of the team's underperformance for the last six weeks. But change had to come after a weekend sweep to the Marlins, which included Saturday's nightmarish 20-inning loss to Miami.
Said Alderson: "You can't watch a game for 20 innings and see a team go for 0-for-19 with men in scoring position and not be near suicidal."
The general manager shared his frustration with the organization's lack of minor-league depth, insisted that he's not bound by financial constraints by ownership, and entertained the possibility that the Mets' season could devolve into an extended audition for young players hoping to become part of the future.
"At some point, if you conclude that you have marginal players, then there's no reason not to try something new," Alderson said. "That could happen. We'll just have to see how the team performs."
So far, the Mets have offered few encouraging signs of a turnaround.
They enter Tuesday's opener of a three-game series with the Cardinals at 23-35, 12 games under .500 and 13 1/2 games out of first place.
Despite an NL East in which only one team has managed a winning record, the Mets find themselves a speck on the Braves' rearview mirror, spared from last place by the Marlins.
But the Marlins have gone 8-3 against the Mets this season and just 10-32 against the rest of baseball.
Those results prompted the Mets' latest round of organizational angst, which Monday took on the form of Alderson's extended appearance.
"I don't like to do that because I think it affects the chemistry," Alderson said of sorting through young players. "But look, if you're not winning, there is no chemistry. Under those circumstances, we might make a lot of moves."
During the interview, Alderson also acknowledged that leftfielder Lucas Duda and shortstop Ruben Tejada still have plenty to prove before being considered part of a core group for a future that includes the likes of David Wright, Matt Harvey and top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
It's an important distinction in the midst of yet another transitional season, and with the Mets sorting out which players will contribute to an eventual contender, and which will eventually be jettisoned.
Even the Mets' roster shake-up underscored some of the issues Alderson railed about on the air. The team sent first baseman Ike Davis, lefty reliever Robert Carson and outfielder Mike Baxter to Triple-A Las Vegas only to replace them with other underperforming players.
Josh Satin, 28, is well past prospect age. Meanwhile, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin will return despite poor results in the minors.
Both began the season on the Opening Day roster.
While pitching depth remains the strength of the farm system, the Mets don't have nearly the same level of depth offensively.
Aside from catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, who only Monday removed the walking boot protecting a broken toe in his left foot, the Mets have a scarcity of position players capable of stepping in and helping the big-league club immediately.
Alderson mentioned outfielder Cesar Puello, second baseman Wilmer Flores and lefthanded pitcher Jack Leathersich as possible call-ups, but only down the road.
"I wish we had more depth in the system right now," Alderson said. "I wish that some of our better players were closer to the big leagues. I wish that certain guys were available to us but they're not."