This is going to be a shortened edition. A full issue will return tomorrow.
Are you ready? Are you ready for that grade for the bullpen? Oh boy, you better get your belts fastened because we’re going to take a bumpy ride. Here we go!
Ryan P. – Seriously. Last year our bullpen was a good B+ to A-. This year, it felt like a F to a D. All year long I felt like the bullpen was the weakest part in our team. They coughed up big leads, they weren’t clutch down the stretch, and boy did they fail at the wrong times. Let’s see, we had the troublesome Scott Schoewofiswndlvakweis. He was a big disaster for the Mets as he pretty much gave up runs after runs in many of his outings. He ending the season with a 5.02 ERA with a record of 0-2. Next up we have Guillermo Mota. Ha, yeah he was awesome last year, but what a difference does HGH makes. An ERA of 5.76 doesn’t get the job done. Oh yeah, he also gave up six runs in one game. Yikes! Joe Smith was perfect, absolutely perfect. Then he fell back to Earth in June and was sent back to the minors in late July. He has good stuff, he just gets tired really easily. Then we got Jorge Sosa, who was once the comeback player for the Mets, because losing his arm angle and being demoted to the bullpen. After him we have Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Billy Wagner. Pedro and Wagner did their usual thing, but Aaron had some issues. There were some times were he’d be lights out, while other times he’ll just act like a batting practice pitcher. Not great if you ask me. We’re gonna need some arms this offseason, and they better be some solid veterans who know how to control the game.
Andrew V. – I wish the grade could be a E, for failing with effort. They tried, but they stunk. I’m amazed Guillermo Mota didn’t just disappear near the end of the year, ending up duct-taped to a chair in an abandoned warehouse in Queens. Billy Wagner had a pretty darn good year, saving the few blown saves over a short span of time. Over the last few weeks, when the collapse was going on in all its glory, Wagner had no effect on the team, as the game would never get to him with a save opportunity. Pedro Feliciano had a terrific first half of the year, as did Joe Smith, but I think both became overused as the season progressed. Joe Smith ended up going back to the minors to rest his young arm, while Feliciano would have streaks of brilliance throughout the year. Mota was just terrible, all year. Schoeneweis started to put together nice outings near the end of the year, even picking up a save or two. Aaron Heilman still gets dominated by the long ball, but was one of the better guys out of the pen this year. Aaron Sele was the official mop-up guy, coming in when we were either down by a lot or up by a lot. Jorge Sosa was pretty darn good out of the pen this year, but was terrible if he had the bases loaded. And finally, two parting words for you…"Mota stinks!"
Jon C. – The dreadful season-ending bullpen. What’s to say that hasn’t been said already by everybody else? The only thing I’ll say in the bullpen’s defense is that Willie Randolph overused the same guys – that’s my logic for Feliciano failing, Sosa… and countless others – except Mota who was terrible from the get-go. Blame Willie for thinking he’d come around. I’ll give Feliciano a pass, because I like him and had Willie stuck to using him solely for one inning at a time, I think he’d be alright – everyone else as far as I’m concerned can find new uniforms next year. Scott Schowenweiss – still spelling his name wrong because he stunk – can go… suspended or not. Sosa I suppose can stick around but I don’t care where he ends up – ditto for Sele. Wagner, Smith and Feliciano are the only relievers who should stick around next season. Smith wasn’t great in the second half, but he’s young and will get better. Wagner jumped the shark in September but was strong throughout. It’s time for the Mets to use Heilman in a trade. He’s just too unstable. One game he’ll be lights out, the next he’ll let all inherited runners in. Time for him to go. Time for El Duque to move to the bullpen. Time for a lot of changes, because no matter who was pitching in relief – no one ended up getting the job done. Bottomline: Clean house. As good as the ’06 pen was, that’s how bad the ’07 pen was. Bring on Linebrink. Bring on Cordero. Bring on someone who can actually keep a game within reach, and please someone teach Willie how to manage his bullpen and stop going with his "gut."
Grade: D (An F for the second half)
We’re missing three writers, the past few days have been very busy for us, and we’ll try and get a full edition tomorrow. We’ll be grading the Management and the Coaching Staff tomorrow!