As we get closer to Opening Day it looks like some tough decisions will have to be made – the types of decisions that could spell the end of their Mets career for Manny Acosta and Pat Misch. Both were initially looked upon as locks to make the bullpen after effective seasons last year and the fact that neither reliever had any minor league options left. But it now appears that one or both are certain to be released and will not make the team.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York sheds some light in his Morning Briefing:
Sandy Alderson candidly noted that putting Izzy on the major league roster from a money perspective is not a concern. He’s only slated to make $500,000. The problem is that if he breaks camp with the team, the Mets could lose another pitcher from the organization. Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, D.J. Carrasco and Taylor Buchholz appear safe, and Rule 5 pick Pedro Beato certainly merits being included too. So taking Izzy with the last slot should mean Manny Acosta and Pat Misch get exposed to waivers. Blaine Boyer, who has drawn positive reviews, is on a minor league deal and can go directly to Triple-A, although one teammate continues to think Boyer will make the roster. Left-hander Mike O’Connor is on a minor league deal, too.
Basically, what it boils down to is the decision to keep Pedro Beato who the front office likes. Beato was left unprotected by the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft and has never pitched above Double-A, but was once highly regarded. He had a good season after repeating Double-A last year, but owns a 4.21 career ERA in the minors to go with a 1.40 WHIP.
Misch had a solid season in 2010 both in Buffalo where he started 23 games and posted a 3.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP, and also for the Mets where he appeared in 11 games and posted a 3.82 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 37.2 innings.
The control artist maintained his remarkable minor league SO/BB rate while in the majors striking out 23 while issuing only 4 walks. In the last two minor league seasons, Misch has maintained well over a 4:1 K/BB rate.
There’s still a chance that Misch could be spared from the chopping bloack, but that would mean letting Isringhausen go who is a Terry Collins favorite and is feeling fine after a little soreness over the weekend related to scar tissue and nothing serious.
Misch wouldn’t last five minutes on the open market and will be either in a major league rotation or bullpen this season, the only question is if it will be with the Mets.