Earlier in the week, Adam Rubin of ESPN NY posted some information that grabbed my attention. While reporting that right-hander Kiko Calero is expected to remain with the organization, he also wrote,
Mets officials expect fluidity with their bullpen early in the season, and suggest the relievers who broke camp won’t stick long if they’re under-performing.
If true, it does certainly show a shift from how the Mets have operated in recent years. I believe it’s important for the Mets (and Jerry Manuel) to get off to a quick start this season. Sometimes that can become difficult to do when when 3-4 players are consistently under-performing and contributing to losses rather than wins.
In the past, the Mets had a tendency to tolerate poor performers for far too long. Especially in the bullpen. I recall at least a half dozen wins that Johan Santana handed to the bullpen that ended up as losses during his first year with the Mets. The bullpen was terrible that season as Heilman, Schoeneweis and others failed to get the job done. The worst part was that we never really did anything about it and suffered through many, many meltdowns and brutal performances from the pen. Hopefully, that will never happen again.
Most of us were not thrilled at the prospect of starting the season with Sean Green in the bullpen. There appeared to be several better options. Hopefully Sean Green has a great season… you never know. But at least we now know that if he fails to produce, the Mets will not wait long to yank him out of the bullpen and call up a Pat Misch, Kiko Calero or Elmer Dessens.
The fact that they will be more reactive when it come to players performances is a big step forward.
The Mets got knocked around a lot last season, deservingly so, for the way they handled a number of things So far this season, I’ve seen a few positive changes and an effort to handle some things smarter and better than they did last season. (Handling of Reyes thyroid, lowering ticket prices, new Citi Field enhancements, etc.)
It’s not just the front office either. The way the team has played in the first two games has been good to see. They fight back, they’re having more quality at-bats, better instincts, and they’re taking advantage of other teams mistakes. It’s only two games, but it’s easy to see their renewed effort.
I hope to see this new trend continue.