We featured a bunch of these last year but this is our first go-round in 2009. Mets fans don't always get a chance to keep tabs on all of the other teams the Mets may eventually play, so the other terrific bloggers we have at SB Nation serve as expert resources on their respective teams.
It looks like Scott Kazmir is making some rehab starts as we speak. When do you expect him back with the Rays and what do you expect from him once he does return?
Kazmir seems to be on pace to return either late next week or the middle of the week after. Hard to say what to expect from him, he's been working with Rick Peterson amongst others, so I guess if this doesn't fix him almost nothing will.
Pat Burrell was a thorn in the Mets' side for a long time, but he's been pretty useless so far this year. What's the story?
A stiff neck and I think he's still adjusting to being a DH. I'm pretty confident the power is still there.
Who has been the biggest pleasant surprise for the Rays this year?
Amazin' Avenue readers aren't too enamored of Jerry Manuel. How do you and your readers feel about Joe Maddon?
Well, Maddon probably wouldn't play Omir Santos over Ramon Castro, if that helps any. Lately his usage of J.P. Howell has been brilliant, similar to that of a true relief ace. His substitutions and lineups, even with a depleted roster, usually make sense, and his call to the bullpen almost always does, minus when Dan Wheeler enters.
What's the Rays' outlook for the rest of the season? They're six games back of the Red Sox with two other teams in front of them. There's plenty of season left, but if they're still in this position at the end of July do they look to trade some guys or stick it out and hope the pitching turns it around?
I really wouldn't be surprised to see Scott Kazmir traded either way. His budget claim and question marks make him quite movable, plus there's always a fool on the market.