Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Marty Noble's Mets mailbag

From time to time, Mets MLB.com beat reporter Marty Noble answers questions from fans. Here are some of his comments in today's column:

* "[Dontrelle] Willis is the only available starting pitcher - if he really is available - I would accept if I were dealing [Lastings] Milledge... Has anyone noticed that Milledge also is slumping? His average was .291 through 36 games."

* "Give the season, [Cliff] Floyd and the two young pitchers [Brian Bannister and John Maine] a chance. If the Phillies take over first place this week, I promise they won't clinch the division before Flag Day."

* "General managers do more than make trades. Sometimes, they sit back and let young talent develop. See David Wright, Jose Reyes, Aaron Heilman and Bannister."

* "It seems now the most likely scenario for the Mets' rotation is bring back Bannister and Maine, and use the two older veterans [Jose Lima and Jermi Gonzalez] as backups. By the time the Mets think [Alay] Soler is big league-ready, they also may think first-round pick Mike Pelfrey is. And Pelfrey certainly will be promoted first... The deeper into the season we get, the less likely it becomes that the Mets will promote any pitcher before Pelfrey."

* "I see no Rocket launches scheduled for Cape Shea."

The Mets (23-14) will attempt to turn around their 2-4 road trip in St. Louis tonight, where they open a 3-game series against the division-leading Cards (24-14). Both teams have tenuous 1-game holds on their respective divisions. The scheduled match-ups are:

Tuesday, May 16: Tom Glavine (5-2, 2.19) vs. RH Jeff Suppan (4-2, 4.58), 8:10 pm start on SNY & WFAN
Wednesday, May 17: Steve Trachsel (2-3, 4.91) vs. Mark Mulder (4-1, 4.27), 8:10 pm start on SNY & WFAN
Thursday, May 18: Jose Lima (0-2, 9.31) vs. Jason Marquis (4-4, 5.33), 1:10 pm start on SNY & WFAN

The Mets return to Shea on Friday for a 3-game set against cross-town rivals, the Yankees.

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