How the other half lives

With all the (rightful) bellyachin' about the Mets roster situation lately, I thought it'd be a good time to point out what an efficiently run organization has available when injuries strike.

Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura tore his ACL and is out for the season.

Via DRays Bay:

Ben Zobrist, Willy Aybar and Reid Brignac will rotate at the keystone position in his place.

Yeah, you read that correctly the Rays have the luxury of replacing Iwamura, a 2.6 win player last season, with three players more than capable of performing within shouting distance of Iwamura's level.

Ben Zobrist, acquired from the Astros for two months of Aubrey Huff, was worth 1.7 WAR in 2008 and has a .415 wOBA this season.  ZiPS projects him to finish with a .363 wOBA -- a tick below last year's .364 -- and in-line with his minor league performance (.391 '07/AAA, .367 '06/AAA, .410 '06/AA)

Wily Aybar, who was worth 1.4 WAR last season in 95 games and 362 PA's, and currently sports a .355 wOBA.   ZiPS projects him to finish with a league averageish .330 wOBA mark and an increase from last season.

Finally, Reid Brignac, who almost went to the Pirates for Jason Bay, will get a long look with the big league club.  He's a solid defensive shortstop according to Total Zone (+33 at SS over his career), so sliding over to 2B should provide the Rays with a defensive stalwart at the position.  Though ZiPS hates on his bat, projecting him to put up a .275 wOBA this season, he's been a solid hitter in the minors, 2008's .313 wOBA in AAA be damned.

The Mets, instead, are forced to live with Ramon Martinez and Ramon Martinez alone.  That means the Mets will have to endure more -.10+ WPA late-game PA's with no reasonable alternative.

Now obviously, the Mets and Rays situations aren't quite analogous because the New York had two SS fall to injury; however, the Rays have the depth to cover two injuries, and with only one player down, they have the luxury of platoon options.  Speaking of luxury, did I mention that the Rays payroll was a robust $64M?  Yeah, the Mets are doling out $147M and can't even muster power doors.

While I recognize that the Rays and Mets are on opposite sides of the astuteness spectrum when it comes to roster building, the truth is that this kind of crisis would befall no other contending team but the Mets.

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