NEW YORK (AP) — Sandy Alderson all but said "tick, tick, tick."
Mets players are running out of time to turn around their season, and New York's general manager took the blame as the person in charge of assembling the roster.
"When you're scoring runs at the anemic rate that we have, something hasn't worked. So from that standpoint, I take full responsibility for where we are," he said Tuesday during a telephone news conference. "I'm not happy about it. But at the same time the job now is to figure out how to fix it and improve it. And that's what we're focused on over the next several weeks."
New York started 11-1 but has fallen to 28-35 and fourth in the NL East, 8½ games behind first-place Atlanta. The injury-ravaged Mets entered Tuesday 28th in runs and 25th among the 30 teams in batting average at .230. The offense has been unable to support a pitching staff that was 15th in ERA at 4.03.
As the All-Star Game next month and the July 31 trade deadline approach, Alderson would consider retooling if the record doesn't improve.
"We have to at least be thinking about what our options may be or what our situation is as we get close to the trade deadline," he said. "The focus is on the short term and improving the results on the field, but obviously we're cognizant of the baseball calendar and where we need to be in a few weeks and what the options are for change as we get into July."
He hasn't determined the extent of possible turnover.
"Could we get younger very quickly? Probably yes," Alderson said. "Then the question really is between where we are now and what we think we can be next season and years after that I think, again, is a function of at least of some extent, not totally, but at least of some extent, of what happens over the next few weeks."
New York released first baseman Adrian Gonzalez after stopping an eight-game losing streak Sunday night and designated third-string catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment Tuesday. First baseman Dominic Smith was recalled from Las Vegas and the Mets selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly from Triple-A Las Vegas.
A five-time All-Star, the 36-year-old Gonzalez hit .237 with six home runs, 26 RBIs and a .654 OPS.
"The last 15 games his OPS was right about .500, which is not great. Overall, below .700, also not great," Alderson said.
Veteran infielder Jose Reyes, who turned 35 on Monday, could be among the next to exit. A four-time All-Star during his first stint with the Mets from 2003-11, Reyes was hitting .148 with three RBIs in 74 at-bats. Reyes' place on the roster appears to have been extended by concerns over Asdrubal Cabrera's tight hamstring.
"I'm obviously aware, very cognizant of his history with the Mets," Alderson sad. "On the other hand, I can assure you that the decision on Jose or any other player is going to be on the merits. Now people may quibble with that decision or a decision of that type or the timing of a decision of that type, but we are committed to putting the best team we can on the field."
New York's lack of options is part of the equation.
"To some extent, this is an indictment of other personnel," he said. "We have to have somebody that we want to replace him."
Key spots have not produced because of injuries, and Alderson updated the ailment report.
—Slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, out since May 13, cut short a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment last weekend after two games and four at-bats.
"He still feels soreness in that hip flexor," Alderson said. "We've got to get that out. So I can't give you a best-case scenario, I can't give you a worst-case scenario, either."
—Star right-hander Noah Syndergaard hasn't pitched since May 25 because of a strained ligament in his right index finger.
"Noah is getting a second opinion," Alderson said, predicting the team would get a report Wednesday.
—Right-handed reliever A.J. Ramos, who hasn't pitched since May 26 because of a strained shoulder, sought a second opinion.
"He's deciding this week surgery or a more conservative treatment," Alderson said. "We certainly don't expect him back anytime soon."
Alderson said prospects in the lower levels of the minors are starting to move up.
First baseman Peter Alonso could be promoted from Double-A Binghamton, where he is hitting .350 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs.
Right-hander Justin Dunn, selected with the 19th overall pick two years ago, made his Double-A debut Sunday. Left-hander David Peterson, drafted 20th overall last year, was promoted this week to Class A St. Lucie.
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