Despite an active offseason by the Mets, little has been done or discussed regarding the bullpen. Andy Martino of the Daily News provides an update on how the ‘pens of New York are rounding out as Spring Training nears.
Bobby Parnell has been assured by the team that the closer duties remain his, so long as he is healthy, says Martino.Parnell is recovering from a herniated disc, but is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
Because of the fact that Parnell will most likely go into the 2014 season as the ninth inning man, Martino doesn’t see much of a fit with Fernando Rodney and Flushing. One N.L. executive told Martino, “Why would Balfour or Rodney go there if they don’t know they’re going to close?”
Also in Martino’s column was an interesting ‘what if?’. If the Mets are in contention come mid-season, top prospects such as Cory Mazzoni, Jacob deGrom, and Rafael Montero could be “temporarily reassigned” to a bullpen role on the major-league level to assist in a potential wild-card run. Noah Syndergaard however, will not be one of those coming out of the ‘pen, and will be kept to a strict innings limit.
I like that the Mets are open to using their prized prospects in such a way. There has been so much invested in their success, it would be nice to see them contribute should a postseason run materialize in 2014.
Thoughts from Mitch Petanick
Using prospects in the bullpen is something I have been arguing for since the Alderson era began. Many teams use this strategy, and I’m happy to see they realize how valuable it is to not only get these guys major league experience, but as a cheap alternative to bullpen pitching that could be more effective due to the fact that major league hitters haven’t seen these guys yet.
Sounds like a win-win situation.