While Mets starter John Maine tossed 4 innings of no hit ball against the Astros earlier today, one member of the Mets relief corps tells the Star-Ledger’s Jeremy Corthan, “me having an off-year didn’t keep us from making the playoffs”. Way to accept responsibility, Scott Schoeneweis.

Just a few weeks into spring training, the Mets let it be known that Schoeneweis (above) and reliever Jorge Sosa were available via trade.

At first, outsiders viewed the tactic as a minor salary dump and a way to clear space in an increasingly crowded bullpen. Now, with Moises Alou down for 4-to-6 weeks, the Mets appear to be upping their search for a right-handed hitting outfielder.

In retrospect, Schoeneweis said he’s being punished for pitching through pain, when others may have shut it down for the season.

Schoeneweis’ hamstring injury forced him to make adjustments in his delivery, which never translated to success on the mound. One reason was that Schoeneweis didn’t have the use of his push leg, which zapped his pitches of speed and movement.

“I am good at what I do,” Schoeneweis said. “I worked really hard to address the physical situation that I had. I feel confident that if I pitch the way I’m capable of, when healthy, that I can help this team.”

One target the Mets are honing in on is Detroit’s Marcus Thames, a player who fits their needs as a right-handed bat with power. The offensively loaded Tigers, in turn, are searching for relief help. Schoeneweis is owed $7.2 million over the remainder of his contract, the primary reason the Mets have placed him on the trading block.

Another reason the Mets are offering Schoeneweis has been the emergence of Rule 5 draft pick Steven Register. In a perfect situation, the Mets would like to clear out several expensive contracts, which would also make room for Register in the bullpen. As a Rule 5 pick, Register has to be on the team for the entire season or be offered back to the Colorado Rockies.

“I have a lot to prove to my teammates after last year,” Schoeneweis said. “But I also bring a lot of things to a bullpen that can’t necessarily be quantified.”

Indeed, it’s hard to determine exactly what free samples of Skoal do for team camaraderie.