The Expos began May with high hopes despite a rash of injuries that included the loss of Pedro Martinez until the 1996 campaign.
With his team hovering near the top of the NL East standings, manager Felipe Alou was just days away from welcoming his son Moises Alou back from the disabled list. Newcomers Herbert Perry and Jeromy Burnitz had fortified the starting lineup since coming over from Cleveland, and the pitching staff was weathering the storm after losing Martinez thanks in large part to a solid bullpen and an impressive debut month from rookie Carlos Perez.
- Leadoff hitter Marquis Grissom (.329, 4 HR) was lost for almost two months after suffering a partially torn labrum.
- The expos lost another effective starting pitcher until early June when Butch Henry (2-2, 3.07 ERA) started to struggle with inflammation in his elbow.
- Jeff Fassero, F.P. Santangelo, and newly acquired left-hander Matt Ruebel all missed time due to nagging injuries.
- excitement over the return of Moises Alou had to be tempered as the left fielder struggled to return to form.
The younger Alou will begin the month of June hitting just .184 and in search of his first home run of the season through 94 plate appearances.
And still the Expos continue to fight on. On May 8, the Expos found themselves tied for first place in the East at 19-12. They slipped to 26-27 by the end of the month, but NL East co-leaders Philadelphia and Atlanta were still within sight, seven games ahead of third-place Montreal.
So, what should general manager Dave Carducci and the Expos front office do to stay in the race? A few big names appear on the trading block in John Olerud, Jeff King, Stan Javier, Jay Buhner and Todd Stottlemyre.
Javier could be a fit to fill in for Grissom. The player who might fill the biggest need, however, is Stottlemyre. With long and short-term injuries plaguing the Expos rotation, Stottlemyre, who is 5-2 with a 1.94 ERA for the Athletics, could help to stabilize the situation.