Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Floyd plays two games in St. Lucie

Cliff Floyd returned to game action on Tuesday in hurricane-threatened Florida -- the first step in what should be a brief rehab stay before rejoining the Mets. But Floyd may not be coming back to an everyday role when he returns.

"It will depend on how Cliff looks when he gets back," manager Willie Randolph said. "It will depend on how Cliff plays."

At least part of Randolph's wait-and-see approach to his left-field situation is due to Floyd's recent inactivity. Floyd has been on the disabled list since Aug. 15 with tendinitis in his left Achilles. He also spent much of June on the disabled list because of a sprained ankle, and as a result, his pedestrian season totals include a .245 average, 10 homers and 36 RBIs in only 80 games.

And with Endy Chavez playing excellent defense and contributing a .333 average, if not power, Randolph also wants to keep him in the mix.

"It's not about everyday this; it's not about everyday that," Randolph said. "We still want to keep Endy going."
In a doubleheader for Class A St. Lucie, Floyd went 0-for-3 in the opener and 2-for-3 in the second game.
Fearing the effects of Tropical Storm Ernesto, the Mets tried to get Floyd out of Florida and on to Brooklyn so he could continue playing without the threat of rainouts, but massive flight cancellations made it impossible.
Floyd could rejoin the Mets as soon as this weekend in Houston.

Pedro at work: Pedro Martinez began his stay in Florida with a throwing session on Tuesday, and assuming his rehab isn't delayed by Ernesto, the plan is to have him back for three or four regular-season starts prior to the playoffs. That's the number Randolph sees as satisfying both sides of the well-rested and still-sharp equation.
"His health is the most important thing," Randolph said. "His pitch count being down could be a blessing in disguise. It can't hurt. But you still have to have a certain sharpness and crispness to your game. We'll see if that comes back."

Matsui vs. Mets: For the first time since the June 9 trade that sent him to Colorado for Eli Marrero, Kaz Matsui faced his former teammates on Tuesday night.

Before he hit leadoff in the Rockies' order and played second base, Matsui said he had no hard feelings toward the Mets, and blamed himself for his struggles.

"I left the Mets because I didn't do well. I didn't make good results," Matsui said.
Upon hearing that assessment, Randolph agreed.

"That says it all right there," Randolph said. "It's nice that he was honest about it. That's it in a nutshell. I wasn't here for his first year [2004], so I can't speak for that. But he was hurt at times, and he struggled to produce. I liked the things he could do for us. I tried to get him in the lineup when he wasn't hurt. But it just didn't work out."

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