|Will Murphy be asked to replace Delgado?
Carlos Delgado is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, which is similar to the procedure that sidelined Alex Rodriguez for two months. Delgado was hitting .298/.393/.521 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 26 games following last season's huge second half, but now seems likely to miss at least the remainder of the first half and at 37 years old could be out far longer.
It wouldn't be shocking to see the Mets attempt to deal for a longer-term answer at first base, but for now they'll replace Delgado with some combination of Daniel Murphy, Fernando Tatis, and Jeremy Reed. Reed is the weakest bet offensively, but may see action anyway if the Mets aren't comfortable yet with how Murphy's defense looks at first base.
If they're willing to live with his glove there platooning Murphy versus righties and Tatis against lefties makes the most sense offensively. That would also open up left field for Gary Sheffield, who's hitting .254/.390/.433 in 82 plate appearances as a part-time player. Another option is calling up 20-year-old prospect Fernando Martinez, but even the hyper-aggressive Mets likely wouldn't rush him that soon.
While the Mets hope that Delgado can return in time to give them some return on their $12 million investment, here are some other notes from around baseball ...
* Brandon Morrow is 0-3 with a 9.72 ERA and was removed from the closer role last week after blowing back-to-back saves, but manager Don Wakamatsu noted Monday that he'll be a given a shot to reclaim ninth-inning duties as soon as his control problems cease. Arm injuries have contributed to Morrow's struggles this year, but he also had 84 walks in 128 innings coming into the season.
Morrow certainly has the raw stuff to be a late-inning force, but throwing him into the fire so soon looks like a mistake that ranks second only to allowing him to be a full-time reliever at the age of 24 in the first place. While the Mariners try to get Morrow back to throwing strikes they'll go with David Aardsma as the lead guy in a closer-by-committee situation that doesn't feature many appealing options.
* Rickie Weeks will miss the remainder of the season after being diagnosed with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He'll have surgery similar to the operation that he underwent on the right wrist in 2006 and faces six months of rehab. Craig Counsell will replace Weeks at second base initially, but sacrificing defense with top prospect Mat Gamel at third base and Bill Hall at second is also an option.
AL Quick Hits: Delmon Young won't return from visiting his ailing mother until at least Friday, leaving Carlos Gomez to start all week … Erik Bedard (hamstring) is expected to miss just one start after being examined by team doctors … Scott Richmond threw seven shutout innings Monday, but got stuck with a no-decision when the bullpen blew the lead … In the midst of a 0-for-13 slump, Adrian Beltre was given Monday off … Tampa Bay has David Price on a very strict pitch count at Triple-A, pulling him after five no-hit innings Sunday … Armando Galarraga reportedly may be in danger of losing his spot in the rotation after failing to make it out of the first inning Sunday … According to manager Mike Scioscia, Vladimir Guerrero (pectoral) could come off the shelf as soon as Monday … Chien-Ming Wang (hip, foot) threw seven shutout innings in a rehab start Sunday at Triple-A, but there's no word yet when he'll rejoin the Yankees' rotation.
NL Quick Hits: Jose Reyes (calf) missed his fifth straight game Monday, but will try to return Tuesday … Pittsburgh and Seattle have reportedly discussed a Jack Wilson-for-Yuniesky Betancourt swap … Edinson Volquez isn't expected to miss a start after leaving Saturday's game with back spasms … Ross Detwiler pitched well in his first MLB start Monday, giving up two earned runs in five innings while striking out six and walking none … And naturally Washington's bullpen coughed up nine runs after Detwiler left to blow his chance at a win … In addition to Chris Carpenter (oblique), the Cardinals are now slated to get Rick Ankiel (shoulder) back from the disabled list on Wednesday … Tom Glavine (shoulder) pitched a three-inning simulated game Monday and is scheduled to make a rehab start this weekend … Manager Tony La Russa has told Khalil Greene that he's no longer St. Louis' everyday shortstop.