Like the Tigers, the Mets have struggled this season. The two teams with huge payrolls and expectations to match have combined to win 49% of their games, and each is in 4th place in their respective division. Mets Santana's been good, but not great, not $135 mil great. At 7-4 and a 3.08 ERA he's not best-pitcher-in-the-game great, for sure. He's been less of a disappointment that Miggy, but how much of a compliment is that? The upside is he's consistently had better second halves (last season not withstanding). An '06 or an '04-like July-Sept run would justify his salary and maybe even rescue the Mets' season and Willie's job.
Carlos Gomez is filling the void* left by Torii Hunter. Gardenhire debated bumping him from the lead-off spot, but settled on keeping things as they were, reasoning that "Gomez is so dynamite as far as leading off a game and can spark us so much..." Alternately, the AP's Dave Campbell suggests that Gomez needs to harness his eagerness. Within the same piece he calls Deolis Guerra, still playing A ball, the most promising of the three pitching prospects in this deal. Considering Humber's and Mulvey numbers, Guerra can have that title almost by default. Phil Humber, initially touted as the 1A to Gomez among the four prospects, has been struggling in AAA (1-5 and 5.89 ERA), and is now day-to-day with elbow soreness. Kevin Mulvey is similarly underperforming, sitting at 2-6 with a 4.36 ERA.
What the Yanks and Sox held on to:
Last we checked in, the Post's Joel Sherman speculated about Melky Cabrera's potential regression. He started the year slow, but now his numbers project out to about the same ones he posted last year. Phil Hughes has been sitting on the shelf since the end of April with a broken rib. The initial projction was that he'd be due back in two months. Today he was cleared to start a throwing program in two weeks, but the Daily News reports that he'll likely be out until August. Baseball Digest think his mechanics are suspect.
To begin the month Jon Lester sandwiched a beaning and a suspension in between two wins. For what its worth, Lester believes he was innocent, and points out that he hit Carl Crawford with a breaking pitch. Of course the biggest Lester story of the season was his no hitter that was trumpeted with well-deserved headlines like this. He's 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA and a remarkable 7 no-decisions.
Clay Buchholz was originally sent to Triple-A Pawtucket to rehabilitate after he broke a nail. Seriously. After he finished his rehab the Sox left him in the minors to work on his arm slot and to better locate his fastball. He blamed his latest poor outing on his catcher.
Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting only .280 and has an .370 OBP, but he leads the league in stolen bases, is on pace to score 100+ runs, and is one of the best defensive outfielders in the league.