I like Angel Pagan. It was this time last year that I was first introduced to him while watching Mets spring training games. He's got speed, a decent glove and, through the early parts of the 2008 season, a bat.
But Pagan's injury last season may have sent his time with the Mets into a tailspin. He went from being the every day left fielder to practically forgotten. Now he's back and the early reports from Port St. Lucie show that he's healthy. Kevin Burkhardt even went so far as to call him a "freak" because of the athletic abilities he was showcasing on the field this spring.
Now Manuel has come out early and said that Daniel Murphy is more than likely his every day left fielder and Ryan Church his right fielder with Tatis playing the role of super-sub. I'm sure Pagan will also fill-in off the bench, but to me Pagan is a guy who will suffer on the bench. He needs that everyday rythmn to get things going. He's not an Endy Chavez type of player and I think he would be more productive in an everyday role.
But what can you do about it? I wouldn't sit Murphy if he plays like he has shown us last season. I'd definitely start Church if he continues to play like the pre-concussion Church of early '08.
So Pagan pulls the short straw. Crazy things happen in baseball. Injuries, slumps, etc. can change the best laid plans. I hope none of that happens, but I am curious to see if Angel Pagan can produce like the player I saw in April 2008.