This is the final year Omar Minaya's "Three Amigos": Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Oliver Perez, are under contract to the orange and blue. While a healthy Beltran will be missed after 2011, Castillo and Ollie are two who we can do without. Thankfully, new manager Terry Collins is recognizing early that the two latter amigos have worn out their effectiveness and transferring power to the Young Guard.
Pitcher Chris Young, recently solidified into the Mets rotation, went 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run, and first baseman Ike Davis drove in 3 runs as the Amazin's came on top over the Washington Nationals in tonight's Grapefruit League matchup.
Secondbaseman Castillo made a fielding gaffe in the 2nd inning, but the team refused to falter and came out on top. Recently dumped from the rotation race, Ollie did his best to earn a spot as left-handed specialist, walking one and striking out another. Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez came in the 9th for a scoreless save.
Spring Training is meaningless, of course, but this is a good sign for the rotation if Young stays healthy. And I just love Ike Davis; if he can improve on his 19 HR 71 RBI from his rookie year, the Mets will have a star for years to come...unless they trade him. This is the club that shipped off Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi, remember.
What's important to take from this is the casual shifting of power from Minaya's prizes and over to the future. Castillo is in a four-way fight for second base (if he's truly the best, he'll earn it) and Ollie seems to have accepted his diminished role (hopefully we won't have to pull out the box this year). Letting Young, Davis, and the rest of the Young Guard take their place as the center of the franchise can only benefit this squad that still has talent and perhaps an outside chance at the Wild Card.