Why Is Manny Acosta Still Here?

An article by posted on May 25, 2012

An introduction is not necessary as the title does all of the justice. Statistically, he has faltered in every role this season, from set-up man to mop-up guy. Acosta has almost as many walks as innings pitched, allowed more runs then innings pitched and has allowed a run in 10 of his 18 games pitched. So, logical readers of MMO – why is the man still up north occupying a roster spot, and who could produce a better ERA than Mr. Acosta who is in our minor leagues? The answer is virtually anyone,  but focus will be placed on why he is here.

The 2012 Mets have shown they will endure the growing pains of the early season if players seem to show life, and sadly despite his horrible ERA, Acosta did not have too poor of a May, but nothing someone would write home about either. Acosta was marginal in 2010, great in the latter portion of 2011, and has been atrocious during the 2012 season all together. If yesterday’s outing wasn’t enough of a sign that Mr. Acosta hurts the team, he entered a 6-1 game, his offense gave him two more runs, and he promptly gave the Padres back three. Acosta cannot locate his pitches, and when they are in the zone they are belt-high and right in the middle of the plate. The man is a hard-throwing, batting practice pitcher this season.

Who can outdo Manny Acosta’s 10.80 ERA over 18 games that is in the Mets farm system? Realistically, anyone in the Buffalo bullpen, and quite possibly a few arms in the Binghamton pen could challenge for that same title. Realistically, the names that Mets fans may expect to hear being called up to the big show sooner than later are Joe D’s personal favorites, RHP Jack Egbert and RHP Elvin Ramirez. What happened to LHP Josh Edgin and RHP Fernando Cabrera, early season front-runners set to find their way to Flushing by June? Josh Edgin has had trouble keeping runners off the bases, but is still striking out a ton of batters. Edgin has been decent against lefties with a 4/9 BB/K and 1 ER against lefties in 5.1 innings, but 3/7 BB/K and 7 ER in 9.1 Innings against righties. Fernando Cabrera has allowed two runs each in four of his last six outings, while struggling with his control.

RHP Jack Egbert has done nothing but pitch to contact, limit the walks and when needed turn it up to get his strikeouts. Egbert has allowed three runs and one walk in May, an amazing feat. Elvin Ramirez, who was returned to the Mets after the Nationals took him in the 2011 Rule 5 draft, has been aces since his promotion to Buffalo. When I mean aces, the man has an ERA of 0.00, allowing 3 hits and one walk in 10.2 innings, striking out twelve. What makes this even more amazing? He walked his first batter yesterday. Ramirez has been lights out so far, and has the power stuff required to thrive in a bullpen.

Robert Carson is still up with the big club, but it seems unlikely that Terry Collins would rather keep an unproven lefty with a heavy platoon-split in his MiLB career as opposed to a righty who can get ground ball outs and who doesn’t pitch too poorly against a lefty.

So why, oh why, is Manny Acosta still here? If I was a gambling man, I would bet it was to allow Elvin Ramirez to get some more innings under his belt coming off of a 2011 arm injury. With this last poor outing, however it seems more and more likely that a new arm will be joining the bullpen before the weekend

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