Inside Pitch: Floyd recovering from surgery
Cliff Floyd was limited to 11 homers in 2006.
Cliff Floyd was limited to 11 homers in 2006.
News Services
Posted Oct 31, 2006


Among the Mets' offseason issues is left field, which as of now doesn't figure to include Cliff Floyd.

Floyd underwent successful surgery to repair his strained left Achilles tendon and will face a four-month recovery period that should end around the start of spring training.

The procedure included shaving down the bone that was rubbing the tendon, then repairing the tendon and removing bone chips. Floyd had surgery after the 1999 season on his right Achilles, so he knows what to expect in terms of the length of the rehab process.

What he doesn't know is the result.

"You never know how these things are going to turn out," Floyd said. "Nobody is going to do anything until they know I can play."

Floyd, who made $6.5 million last season, will be a free agent. He will be in a supportive boot for at least two months.

Floyd, who'll turn 34 in December, had two one-month stints on the disabled list with injuries to his left ankle (a sprain in June and the Achilles in August and September) that limited his production to 11 homers and 44 RBIs.

In 2005, he played in 150 games and hit .273 with 34 homers and 98 RBIs, so he's not that far removed from being an impact player.

While the Mets have to think Floyd won't be back, they will look to the free agent market for a corner outfielder, as general manager Omar Minaya is reluctant to give the position to either Endy Chavez or Lastings Milledge.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • Third base coach Manny Acta completed his interview tour for the managerial positions in San Francisco, Washington and Texas.

  • CF Carlos Beltran pulled out of the MLB all-star tour of Japan, citing a need for his abdominal strain and quad injury to heal. 3B David Wright, SS Jose Reyes and RHP John Maine will represent the Mets on the trip, with 1B Julio Franco tagging along as a coach.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado underwent successful surgery on his right wrist for carpal tunnel and on his right elbow for tennis elbow. Since Delgado was traded to the Mets last winter while under a free agent contract, he's eligible to request a trade, but he said he's happy with the Mets.

  • The Mets will talk with manager Willie Randolph about a contract extension. Randolph's contract expires after the 2007 season, and general manager Omar Minaya said he doesn't want him to have "lame duck" status.

  • RHP Aaron Heilman underwent surgery on his elbow and is expected to be ready for spring training. Manager Willie Randolph said his preference is to keep Heilman in the bullpen instead of moving him to the rotation.

  • C Paul Lo Duca underwent surgery on his left thumb and is expected to be ready for spring training.

  • SS Chris Woodward underwent surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to be ready for spring training.

  • RHP Roberto Hernandez underwent surgery on his right knee and is expected to be ready for spring training.

  • LF Cliff Floyd underwent surgery on this left ankle to repair his Achilles tendon, and he won't be ready until spring training. The Mets weren't expected to bring back Floyd, a pending free agent. They will look for a corner outfielder in the free agent market because they aren't ready to commit to either Endy Chavez or Lastings Milledge.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Number of Mets who underwent surgery in the week following the NL Championship Series.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I know what I have here. Nobody has to sell me." -- LHP Tom Glavine, who is eligible for free agency, on his thoughts about returning to the Mets.

    ROSTER REPORT

    The Mets tied for the major league lead with 97 victories and lost the NLCS with the winning run on base in the ninth inning of Game 7, so it is more a matter of fine-tuning than a complete overhaul. Most of that tuning, of course, will be with the pitching, a combination of getting younger in the rotation and bringing back the bullpen.

    BIGGEST NEEDS: The biggest need is to stabilize the rotation with RHP Pedro Martinez out until the All-Star break following shoulder surgery and LHP Tom Glavine's status up in the air. Glavine is expected back, but if not they figure to go in deep into the free agent market. Even with Glavine coming back, a veteran presence is needed because there will be a surplus of young arms with LHP Oliver Perez and RHPs Brian Bannister, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.

    FREE AGENTS: LHPs Tom Glavine and Darren Oliver; RHPs Orlando Hernandez, Steve Trachsel, Guillermo Mota, Chad Bradford and Roberto Hernandez; LF Cliff Floyd; INFs Jose Valentin and Chris Woodward.

    If Glavine submits to family pressure, he could return to Atlanta. With the youth at the back end of the rotation and RHP Pedro Martinez out until midseason following shoulder surgery, he's their top priority. The Mets are also expected to retain Orlando Hernandez but not Steve Trachsel. The bullpen was the National League's best, and four relievers could be on the market.

    ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: C Ramon Castro, OF Endy Chavez, LHP Oliver Perez, RHP Duaner Sanchez, LHP Dave Williams, RHP Victor Zambrano.

    The only player the Mets will probably ignore is Zambrano, who is recovering from elbow surgery. The Mets want to bring back the other five.

    IN LIMBO: LF Cliff Floyd, RHP Aaron Heilman.

    The Mets will assume they won't have Floyd, which is the thing to do considering he won't be ready until February following surgery on his left Achilles tendon. Heilman was supposed to be a starter but was put into the bullpen, where he pitched well. He still wants to start, but the Mets are in no hurry to give him that chance. The thing to do might be to trade him while there is value.

    PROSPECT WATCH: The Mets eschewed several opportunities over the last two seasons to trade OF Lastings Milledge but might be less reluctant to deal him this winter now that he has not made the splash expected of him. RHP Mike Pelfrey will go to the fall instructional league and will have a chance to make the rotation next year out of spring training.

    MEDICAL WATCH:

    1B Carlos Delgado (carpal tunnel, right wrist) had surgery in October. He's also scheduled for right elbow surgery Oct. 30.

    RHP Aaron Heilman (tennis elbow, right elbow) had surgery in October but should be ready for spring training.

    C Paul Lo Duca (ligament tear, left thumb) had surgery in October but should be ready for spring training.

    INF Chris Woodward (labrum tear, left shoulder) had surgery in October but should be ready for spring training.

    RHP Roberto Hernandez (right knee) had surgery in October but should be ready for spring training.

    LF Cliff Floyd (left Achilles tendon) had surgery in October. He could be ready by the end of February.

    RHP Pedro Martinez (rotator cuff surgery) won't be ready until at least the All-Star break.


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