It don’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Mets are having some difficulties in a bullpen that was one of the best in baseball last season.
About the only pitcher the Mets can count on this season is their closer, Billy Wagner. He has been lights out this season and is clearly having one of his best seasons in close to a decade.
Pedro Feliciano is not too far behind Wagner as far as being a sure thing. The problem with Pedro is that he is mostly thought of as a lefty specialist and he doesn’t throw particularly hard.
As for the rest of the bullpen… Choose your poison.
Scott Schoeneweis was given a huge contract after a mediocre career to join the Mets and become their setup man. He has been a colossal failure.
Last years golden boy, Aaron Heilman, has been anything but. His inconsistency drives manager Willie Randolph crazy. Lately he has been on a good roll, but with Heilman, it can get ugly again real quick.
This years golden boy was rookie Joe Smith. He has already been sent packing after allowing a team high, 20 inherited runners to score after a fast start. His last appearance before hitting the bayou in New Orleans was particularly ugly when he allowed three straight hits with runners on base and allowed the score to get out of reach.
Perhaps the biggest target of the Mets fans ire is the former pill popper and admitted juicer, Guillermo Mota. Mota was also given a gaudy two-year deal that drew some fire in the off season. Despite his velocity being where it should be, his fastball is as flat as a pancake, and that contract is looking worse every time.
Aaron Sele has had his ups and down, but mostly downs.
So where are the Mets going to get some relief? Well, the team seems to think it’s in their minor league system with guys like Jon Adkins or Carlos Muniz. I, however just don’t see that saving the day in the long run.
No, my friends, the only real help lies beyond the shores of the East River. I would advise my friend Omar to "Go West, Young Man."
There is a world of talented and capable relief pitchers out in the trade market, and even though Omar Minaya is reluctant to pull the trigger on a trade, it may be the team’s undoing if he don’t.
It’s 2007 and this game has changed dramatically in the last 3 years The team with the best bullpen wins all the marbles… and that funny looking gold trophy with all the little flags on it.