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Bad Stuff Happens to Everybody

Depending on what you read, Johan Santana either remains on pace for a return in July or is actually already dead and the Mets are just covering it up.

Oliver Perez, meanwhile, continues to show unmistakable symptoms of being still around, a malady the Mets should probably cure.

Stillarounditis also continues to be exhibited by Luis Castillo, who hasn’t been medevac’d out of here mostly because no one else has shown any particular talent for playing second base. Not Daniel Murphy, the People’s Cherce despite an uncertain pedigree. Not Brad Emaus, who arrived with a Ricciardi stamp of approval but hasn’t hit. Not Luis Hernandez, appointed the starter by the New York Post but not apparently by Terry Collins. Not Jordany Valdespin, because the Mets appear to have learned their lesson about wasting a year of development, particularly for young players whose names are hell to spellcheck. Not Ruben Tejada, whose skills with the leather aren’t matched (yet) by utility with a length of ash. Not Justin Turner, Nick Evans’ed last year for no apparent reason.

If second base is the disease [1], we don’t seem to be getting any closer to the cure.

And heck, Willie Harris and Ike Davis have even been in traffic accidents.

As for the club’s financial health, don’t ask.

But lest you think Alderson & Co. have inherited not only bad contracts but also the grim little black cloud that’s followed the Mets around since September 2007, look west, at the other Florida coast.

This is what’s happened to the Phillies so far this spring:

Chase Utley — bad knee, is yet to appear in a spring-training game.

Domonic Brown — broken hamate bone (a bone that only exists to sideline baseball players), surgery, out for a month.

Brad Lidge — biceps tendinitis.

Placido Polanco — hyperextended elbow.

And Cliff Lee and Antonio Bastardo shut down their offseason regimens at certain points before camp.

None of this is desperate news for the Phillies just yet. Their pitching staff is still enviably deep and strong. And they battled a rash of injuries early in 2010 and came through it all just fine. But if what was happening in Clearwater was happening in Port St. Lucie, we’d be near-deaf from the lamentations and thuds of chest-beating, and getting ready to boo the trainers again.

Bad stuff happens to everybody. Even teams that aren’t the Mets.