Moises Alou is out four to six weeks (probably months, maybe years) in deference to the removal of and recovery from a hernia. We wish him well even as we wish he hadn’t been counted on to such absurd lengths. We liked his September plenty, mind you. We just didn’t think he had another one in him, at least not right away.
So we welcome to the Mets, for all intents and purposes, our starting outfield for 2008, Angel Pagan. At the rate things are going, I assume he’ll be counted on to display Bugs Bunny versatility. You know:
Left Field — Angel Pagan!
Center Field — Angel Pagan!
Right Field — Angel Pagan!
I thought Angel Pagan’s value in camp was going to be anecdotal. He was here to remind me of the halcyon days of the Original Cyclones, the 2001 New York-Penn League co-champs, the team that brought baseball back to Brooklyn, the team that made the minors major. For a half-decade, Angel Pagan’s name had been safely tucked in my subconscious with Frank Corr and John Toner and Jay Caliguri and Forrest Lawson and the hero of the McNamara Division playoffs, Brett Kay, and brilliant views of the Atlantic and those carnival-style lights that lit Keyspan Park when dusk rolled around. I was surprised when he surfaced with the Cubs in 2006. I was delighted when the Mets signed him this offseason. I expected no more than a cameo at Shea.
Now it appears he will be our starting outfield on Opening Day, a third of it anyway. He hit .264 for Chicago last year. He hit .315 for Brooklyn in ’01. I can’t think of many worse situations for a club in the Mets’ position than for Moises Alou to go down for an extended period. I can’t think of many short-term solutions that make me happier than Angel Pagan finally getting called up to Queens.