Another quiet day here at the Stadium. The story figures to be Phil Hughes, who will try to rebound from his last start, a particularly poor one last Wednesday in Toronto.
That marked Hughes' first bad start after six pretty decent ones, so I was surprised to see that Hughes' ERA+ now stands at 97. His WAR is 1.7, which puts him in the company of American League pitchers like Minnesota's Scott Baker, Tampa Bay's Wade Davis and the White Sox's Matt Thornton.
Good, in other words, but far from elite. Texas' C.J. Wilson leads all AL pitchers with a 4.8 WAR, which means that the Rangers' playoff starting rotation figures to be pretty darn good, assuming Cliff Lee straightens himself out.
No word yet, meanwhile, on whether Javier Vazquez will rejoin the Yankees' starting rotation.
Anyway...Omar Minaya made some waves in this linked USA Today story when he said, of New York, "It's not a market where you can go young. You have to bring in players."
This is such an odd statement that I'm not sure it's even worth discussing in detail. It sounds like something Minaya would say, yet he hasn't really practiced this. If anything, during Minaya's reign, the Mets have put too much faith in youngsters like Daniel Murphy, Mike Pelfrey and Jenrry Mejia, pushing them to roles that either hindered their long-term development (Mejia) or simply overestimated their upside (Murphy last year, Pelfrey prior to this year).
If anything, the quote demonstrates Minaya's poor communication skills. It won't be the primary reason he likely gets pushed aside after this season. But it will be a factor.
--Michael Weiner, head of the Players Association, showed up at the Stadium and told me and Andrew Marchand that the hearing for Francisco Rodriguez - the one in which the Mets try to take his money, not the one in which the state of New York tries to imprison him - will likely be mid-October.
--The Rangers are considering a trade for Jeff Francoeur, and if the Mets get anything in return for Frenchy - salary relief, a third-tier prospect, a George Foreman grill - they should consider it a victory.
--Peter Gammons said on WFAN that he thinks Bobby Valentine will be the Mets' next manager. Gosh, I don't see that happening at all. I don't think the Mets want to pay that much for a manager, and I don't see the Wilpons wanting to go back to that well. But, never say never, I suppose.
--The Red Sox traded Manny Delcarmen to Colorado - remember, players must be part of a team's organization by midnight E.T. tonight in order to be eligible for that club's postseason roster _ but Boston GM Theo Epstein says this shouldn't be construed as a white-flag trade. Delcarmen has recorded a pretty poor season. Perhaps a good, old-fashioned switch to the inferior league will help.
--My favorite niche Twitter account has to be Dodger Divorce, which is offering comprehensive coverage of the McCourts' divorce hearing.
--Have a great night.