The only good thing about the Mets bullpen is that it has not been needed over the last two weeks. The starting pitching and the offense have been strong enough to carry the team. But here’s my advice to Omar Minaya: Do something quickly about the Mets pathetic bullpen. Otherwise it could very well turn out to be the downfall as the pennant races heat up this summer.
Elmer Dessens of all people has inherited, by default, the 7th/8th inning setup role. Pedro Feliciano is still not trusted to get righties out consistently. K-Rod has been very good, but certainly is not the lights out closer that he was expected to be. If this back end of the bullpen is mediocre, what can you say about the rest of it comprised of Jenrry Mejia, Ryota Igarashi, Raul Valdez, and Fernando Nieve. All four should currently be pitching for AAA Buffalo at best.
Jenrry Mejia’s development is being totally mismanaged. He should be in AA Binghamton. I don’t care if it is as a starter or reliever but he needs more than mop up work. In Wednesday night’s game, he walked the first two batters in the 8th inning. Manuel, correctly pulled him. But if in the minors he would have had the opportunity to work his way out of the self inflicted jam. Ryota Igarashi needs work and he is not getting it sitting on a chair far out in the bullpen. With nightly minor league work, he could regain his form and possibly help the Mets during the summer months. The same could be said of Fernando Nieve. Raul Valdez? I think it’s time to send him packing back to his team in Mexico.
The biggest problem facing Omar Minaya is that there is no one in the minors that could be called up with confidence. The leading candidates are Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta. Both have pitched inconsistently and I would not trust either in a crucial 6th or 7th inning situation. John Maine’s return to the rotation could allow Hisanori Takahashi to pitch in relief. That would be great, but the caveat is whether Maine can pitch effectively.
I don’t know who’s out there on the trade market, but Omar needs to do something right away. The starters can not be expected to pitch seven plus innings on a consistent basis. Omar needs to take action now, before focusing on a trade for a starting pitcher.
The Mets are sizzling hot right now. But we all know and have seen how momentum shifts suddenly and without warning. Our good fortunes will change; it’s just a matter of when and for how long.