|Wagner back in August?|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on May 16, 2009
The New York Mets lost Billy Wagner to Tommy John surgery late last season, which probably contributed to their September demise. GM Omar Minaya brought in closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man JJ Putz to handle the late innings.
He's only missing a hard-throwing lefthander to round out the back of his bullpen. The Mets may get one in August, writes Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.
Billy Wagner has returned to Port St. Lucie after a month-long moratorium on throwing off a mound. It looks like his projection to return from Tommy John elbow surgery by August may be on the mark. Wagner already is firing fastballs at 90 mph, a team source told the Daily News.
Wagner, 37, is owed $10.5 million this season, in the final guaranteed year of his four-year deal. The Mets have an option on Wagner at $8 million for next season, with a $1 million buyout.
With an extended period of time off, velocity shouldn't be Wagner's biggest concern. He was always able to dial it up in the upper 90's. The biggest thing to watch for is control. After taking a year or so off, pitchers take a few outings to get their proper mechanics back.
Wagner's return should be a much-needed boost for the Mets, especially considering Putz's early-season elbow issues.