MIAMI -- Like his manager, Jerry Manuel, Mets general manager Omar Minaya hears the rumors and hears the talk and hears the speculation. These days, it's everywhere.
So when a team such as the D-backs hires a GM like Kevin Towers, Minaya, like anyone in his position, will take notice.
Though Minaya is under contract next year, both local and national media have speculated that the Mets may opt to reassign him away from his current position as head of baseball operations after this season. Towers was on the media's short list, even if Minaya had hardly taken notice.
"I've been around this team," Minaya said, "and I've been in this town long enough to know that I just have to focus on my job."
For Minaya, that means spending the final two weeks of this season looking into free agent and trade possibilities for 2011. Due to the uncertain status of Johan Santana, the Mets will be in the market for a starting pitcher this winter. Due to their inconsistent bullpen, they will be in the market for a reliever -- or five. And Minaya is always looking for upgrades on offense.
Though it may be a tricky situation for him to look squarely at the future when he is unsure of his own fate, Minaya currently has few other options. He said Wednesday that he has not had any conversations regarding his status with team COO Jeff Wilpon, nor does he plan to until after the season.
Instead, Minaya will simply look toward the future of the Mets -- not the future of himself.
"I go about business as usual and do my job," he said.
Misch enters picture to give starters a rest
MIAMI -- Seeking to limit the workloads of young starters Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, the Mets will insert Pat Misch into their rotation on Sunday in Philadelphia, pushing both Pelfrey and Niese back a game.
"The way Pelfrey and guys are throwing the ball right now," manager Jerry Manuel said, "we'll try to give them a day, if we can, coming down the stretch."
Inserting Misch into the rotation will help the Mets do just that. Though Manuel ultimately would have needed to insert a fifth starter into the rotation next week at Citi Field, he will tap Misch earlier than that in an effort to keep both Pelfrey and Niese fresh.
In nine games (four starts) this season, the left-handed Misch went 0-4 with a 4.44 ERA, striking out 10 and walking two in 24 1/3 innings. Misch last pitched in relief on Sept. 19.
Igarashi auditioning for rest of season
MIAMI -- With Bobby Parnell now done for the season, the Mets have one arm in their bullpen more intriguing than the rest.
That would be the right arm of Ryota Igarashi, who, despite his potential, has been hampered both by injuries and ineffectiveness throughout his rookie season with the Mets. With his team officially out of the playoff hunt, manager Jerry Manuel now plans to use Igarashi -- who is under contract for $1.75 million next season -- more consistently down the stretch, in an effort to see if he can win a role at the back end of the bullpen in 2011.
Though Igarashi began his career with 5 2/3 scoreless innings back in April, he has since posted a 10.29 ERA, walking 14 batters in 21 big league innings and spending significant time in the Minors earlier this summer.
The 31-year-old Igarashi, though, still possesses more upside than anyone in the bullpen this side of Parnell.
"For him and the team going forward, obviously there have been some question marks," Manuel said. "We're looking for someone to step up. If you can get someone to step up at this point, that would be good for them. It would give them a good opportunity going into next season."
Finishing strong is Mets' goal rest of way
MIAMI -- Before walking out to batting practice Wednesday, Mets outfielder Chris Carter paused in the clubhouse with bat in hand.
"Got to keep playing hard," he said, then continued on his route.
So it went for the Mets on Wednesday, their first day removed from playoff contention. Though the Mets have been effectively out of the playoff race for more than a month, the finality of that set in after their loss to the Marlins on Tuesday evening.
But the Mets will not fret over their status. If they plan to win in 2001, they cannot waste their energy. Instead, the Mets will try to win as many of their final 11 games as they can while evaluating talent for the upcoming spring.
"You continue to press toward playing good baseball," manager Jerry Manuel said. "You enjoy watching a good baseball game and all the things that go in it. You just look forward to that."