After last night’s conference call with Sandy Alderson, I came away with a few thoughts that I will share with you today in a series of short posts.
I’m seriously beginning to think that Bobby Parnell could start the season in the minor leagues pitching for the Buffalo Bisons. Parnell may very well be caught up in a numbers game and could be in danger of not making the bullpen simply because he still has minor league option that could work against him.
While considering some new information that recently came to my attention along with other things like spring performances and contract status, I gotta tell you my gut feels very strongly about it. It makes a lot of sense on many different levels.
Let’s take a look at a few of the things I considered…
1. Which Relievers Are Assured Of Spots
Francisco Rodriguez – No question of course, K-Rod is the closer.
D.J. Carrasco - Signed a two year deal which assures him a spot.
Taylor Buchholz – Talented pitcher who I said would be the setup man shortly after we got him.
Tim Byrdak – It’s almost a done deal, he will be the lefty specialist, announcement could come today.
Pedro Beato – Rule 5 pick who Alderson said would likely make team during conference call last night.
2. Relievers On The Bubble & Contract Status
Bobby Parnell - Has Minor League options left.
Blaine Boyer – Has opt out clause that lets him walk if he doesn’t make the team.
Manny Acosta – Out of options, if he don’t make the team he’ll go on waivers.
Pat Misch – Out of options, if he don’t make the team he’ll go on waivers.
Jason Isringhausen – Izzy will retire if he fails to make the team.
Notes: With five spots already filled, there’s only room for three more. The front office loves Blaine Boyer and I don’t blame them, he has a live arm. Last night during the conference call, Sandy Alderson had some positive things to say about Manny Acosta and I now believe they will indeed keep him. Pat Misch can fill a vital role as a spot starter and long man out of the bullpen, while Jason Isringhausen gives the team a veteran in the bullpen who is also a fan favorite.
3. Spring Performances
If you went by the numbers alone and forgot all the other stuff, Blaine Boyer, Manny Acosta and Jason Isringhausen would nail down the final three bullpen spots. But as you know, spring numbers alone won’t decide who gets those three precious spots.
4. My Final Conclusion
Based on what I learned last night, my opinion has changed significantly on who will nail down the final three spots in the bullpen and this is the way I would rank them today.
#1 Blaine Boyer
#2 Manny Acosta
#3 Pat Misch
Bobby Parnell will go down to the minors, but it’s only temporary. It’s a smart move and gives the team a couple of more weeks to keep three relievers that the team is very high on rather than losing one of them.
It also buys the Mets some time to see if they could possibly trade one or two of them to fill another need like more depth in the minors.
If any of the relievers making the team were to falter or get hurt, Parnell will be on tap and ready to answer the call.
As for Jason Isringhausen, it would have been a great story, but it would be silly for the Mets to lose one of the other younger pitchers just to take a chance on an aging reliever with a very fragile arm.