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Andy Behrens

Closing Time: The 57-win Mets have $75 million on the DL

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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Johan Santana(notes) will have season-ending arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.

Within the context of the Mets' season, this is considered very good news.

Every useful member of the team is, to some extent, currently injured. Some players are more injured than others. We briefly worried that Santana might have ligament damage, but instead the Mets' ace – a man who is owed $100 million or so over the next four seasons – merely has pieces of his bones floating around inside his arm, causing intolerable pain. So no big deal. He's expected to be healthy for spring training in 2010.

It's amazing that this passes for a ray of hope, but that's where the Mets are right now. Santana joins Jose Reyes (hamstring), David Wright(notes) (concussion) and Carlos Beltran(notes) (knee) on the disabled list, wiping out $52 million in 2009 salary and four of the top 20 players taken in your fantasy draft. According to back-of-the-envelope calculations, New York now has roughly $75 million in current-year salary on the DL. Many major league teams obviously don't have $75 million in total payroll.

The Mets have been remarkably unlucky this season, sure, but still…shouldn't a job be at risk? Maybe it's not the manager's or GM's job, but perhaps a member of the training staff? Or every member of the training staff? The equipment manager? Travel coordinator? Willie Randolph (again)?

You could assemble a 2007 fantasy champion from all the broken Mets. If you included disgruntled Mets, you'd have an '07 juggernaut. Look upon the names, then continue for bulleted content…

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Brad Lidge(notes) has been bad. We've run out of fresh ways to say it, so there it is: Lidge. Bad. After Tuesday's walk-off loss, Lidge has nine blown saves this year. He failed to retire a hitter against Pittsburgh, allowing a single, then throwing a wild pitch, then giving up another single before finally putting a fastball on a tee for Andrew McCutchen(notes). (Video). Lidge's ERA is now 7.33 and his WHIP is 1.80. Over at The Fightins, they've written the obit:

R.I.P. Brad Lidge, Phillies Closer (April 6, 2008 - August 25, 2009).

Clearly that team can't go into October with Lidge handling the ninth, not like this. Ryan Madson(notes) is the short-term option and he's had an excellent year (1.18 WHIP, 62 Ks in 61 IP). Rehabbing ex-closer Brett Myers(notes) lurks in the minors, too. He threw a scoreless inning at Single-A on Monday. However, Charlie Manuel stubbornly continues to support the incumbent:

“We just keep going. We just keep playing,” Manuel said. “That’s where we’re at. That’s our closer. That’s the guy we give the ball to in the ninth inning.”

In fairness to Lidge, he was pitching for the fourth consecutive game. Maybe the Phils really will keep going to him. Assume that he sits tomorrow, though, and be prepared to jump on the alternatives if you haven't already.

Chris Davis(notes) was a pre-draft favorite of many, but the early months of the season did not go well. The Rangers sent him to the minors in July with a .202 average and more Ks than Albert Pujols(notes) collects in any two seasons (114). But Davis persevered, hitting .327/.418/.521 at Triple-A with six homers and 12 doubles in 44 games. He's been recalled by Texas and first base is now "his job to lose the rest of the season," according to the Star-Telegram. Davis hit eighth on Tuesday, going 2-for-4.

There's another piece of useful news in that Star-Telegram link: "Hank Blalock has been told that he will be a bench player for the stretch run. Julio Borbon(notes) will be the primary designated hitter against right-handers." Borbon stole his ninth base of the season tonight in just his 14th game. He's hitting .415 and leading off. He's clearly the speed add, while Davis is power.

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After staring at the little red "NA" next to Eric Young Jr.'s name for the past several weeks, you finally had an opportunity to use him on Tuesday. Young was called up from Colorado Springs when Dexter Fowler(notes) (knee, bone bruise) hit the DL. EY Jr. was hitting .299 at Triple-A with 118 runs scored and 58 stolen bases. He hit leadoff for the Rockies tonight and went 1-for-4. He was also caught stealing in the fifth…but at least he ran.

Young qualifies at second base, although he played centerfield in his debut. He's been getting work in the outfield in the minors in recent weeks in preparation for the call-up. As with Borbon, add for speed.

Setup specialist Mike Adams(notes) has hit the DL with a right shoulder strain. Assuming the injury isn't too serious -- and that's not necessarily a safe assumption, but let's just say -- then consider stashing him in dynasty formats. If a Heath Bell(notes) deal goes down, Adams is next in line. He's allowed just one earned run over the past two calendar months, in 22.2 innings. In that time, he's struck out 29 batters and walked only four. His ERA for the year is 0.92.

If you're looking for Stephen Strasburg(notes), check the Arizona Fall League. Opening Day is October 13.

Brian Wilson(notes) needed a bailout from Sergio Romo(notes) on Tuesday after getting himself into a deep, terrible jam. Wilson pitched 2.2 innings at Colorado on Monday and he's now thrown 71 pitches over two days. As a Wilson owner, I'm prepared to endorse a day of rest.

If you're streaming probables in advance of Thursday's games, here are five to consider, in order of importance (all less than 30 percent owned in PLUS leagues):

1. Anibal Sanchez(notes) vs. NY Mets
2. Aaron Laffey(notes) at Baltimore
3. Doug Fister(notes) vs. Kansas City
4. Junichi Tazawa(notes) vs. White Sox
5. Clayton Richard(notes) at Atlanta

We're not endorsing the approach, of course, nor guaranteeing results from a batch of unowned pitchers. But things happen, particularly in head-to-head. If you're battling a streamer in a critical pre-playoff matchup, then we advise you to scan Friday's games and grab one or two of the best available names.


Photo via US Presswire

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