Thoughts on the Future of the Mets Bullpen

USATSI_ jose valverde

Thoughts from Joe D.

I wanted to share with you a conversation we had in our Game Thread from last night. It had to do with the bullpen which of course became a big topic of concern after that ugly meltdown in the 9-6 loss against the Astros.


Hi Joe D and guys. I haven’t seen much of the Mets on TV during ST. How does Valverde look to you guys- fastball velocity-wise and has he rediscovered his splitter at least some. That bullpen is going to be the main downfall of the Mets this season.

Joe D.

Valverde had his second bad appearance of the spring tonight, but overall I don’t have any complaints. I think his ERA is around 3.50 with a solid WHIP. He could apprise the role LaTroy Hawkins had for us last season, but of course I would have preferred having Hawkins.

Had they re-signed Hawkins and also added Valverde it would have been a nice veteran presence to go with Parnell, Rice and Familia. It would have been been a significant bolstering of the pen.

jason bay

I have a bad feeling about the pen unless it gets a shot in the arm from some of Walters, Black, Leathersich, Mazzoni and Kolarek.

Familia is the guy I feel the best about but a pen is only as strong as it’s weakest link and Familia can’t be asked to cover someone else’s spot.

Joe D.

The good thing about this season compared to the previous ones is that we have solid MLB-ready or near MLB-ready options on the farm, and good ones too.

For the first time in a very long time, we are in a position to have a very solid bullpen comprised of hard throwing relievers from both the left and right sides with at least 2-3 of them being in the future closer class.

I can’t recall us ever being in such a good position before. And you know I’m not a Koolaid drinker, I don’t make comments like that unless it’s backed by some great intel from my own minor league analysts and the 2-3 scouts/evaluators who are nice enough to talk to me when I have a question about a particular player.

I can’t speak for the other elements of the team, but where the bullpen is concerned, I’m pretty ecstatic about our future.

One thing we should keep in mind is that although we head into Opening Day with a bullpen that will include Bobby Parnell, Jeurys FamiliaCarlos TorresGonzalez GermenScott Rice and John Lannan, I can assure you that’s not the same pen we’ll end the season with.

One shaky month by any of them or perhaps an unforeseen injury, and the Mets will not hesitate to bring up promising relievers like Jeff Walters, Adam Kolarek, Jack Leathersich and even Jacob deGrom.

We’re finally dealing in a position of strength and depth where the Mets bullpen is concerned this season. I only wish I could say the same thing about our infield.

By the way, if you’re not already enjoying our MMO Game Threads you don’t know what you’re missing. Check it out when you get a chance and interact with some of the best and most knowledgeable Met fans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, all while you watch or listen to each game. Win or Lose, these game threads are a lot fun, It’s the next best thing to being at the ballpark…

March 26

The Mets announced today that they have added Jose Valverde to the 40-man Roster.

This spring, the veteran reliever pitched in eight games and was 1-0, with a 3.00 ERA, in nine innings of work.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, the Mets may look to add him as a set-up man for Bobby Parnell. The bullpen is also expected to include Jeurys FamiliaCarlos TorresGonzalez GermenScott Rice and John Lannan.

Marc Carig of NY Newsday wrote that pitching coach Dan Warthen and Terry Collins have discussed curbing Parnell’s workload, at least temporarily, holding him to nothing beyond back-to-back appearances.

Carig adds that on days Parnell is unavailable, the Mets appear ready to hand save chances to Jose Valverde, who was added to the team today.

“The only concern is, and Terry and I have talked about it, maybe not three or four in a row like he’s been able to,” Warthen said. “But I think two in a row is going to be fine. He might need a little more rest for a while. Let’s see how it builds up.”

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About David Conde 205 Articles
David was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a lifelong Mets fan.
  • tacknaf


  • Metropolitan

    How exciting..great time to be a Mets fan…..

  • Looking forward to seeing Valverde on the team. My hope is Familia mostly but everyone overall will greatly benefit from his presence on the club. Don’t be surprised to see Familia pitching either in the 8th or 9th inning at some point and complimenting how Valverde has helped him grow as a pitcher.


  • Today begins my two week swearing off of all sarcasm and negativity with a new season upon us. I will start here. Joseeeee……Jose Jose Jose………..Jose……..Jose. Let’s Go Mets! Here’s to the resurgence of Ike/Duda and Tejada! LGM!!

  • rubagreta

    I’m more worried about German, Rice and Lannan than Valverde.

  • Endy10

    we can dream can’t we?

    i think familia’s due for a breakout season though in all honesty. i’m just not sure how much we can expect from valverde. hopefully a good deal on and off the field for the kids

  • Agee’s Catch

    It isn’t a bad move. There isn’t anyone in AAA that has really earned it. I think he’ll help the younger kids be ready.

  • BigAl831

    Valverde absolutely pitched his way onto this team. Good for him.

  • Rocky Thompson

    Mets FO has been criticized for letting LaTroy LaTroy Hawkins leave, but if Hawkins was resigned then Valverde would not be on team. Should be interesting to see which pitcher ends up having a better season.

  • mets2014

    Hawkins in Colorado is not a good fit…valverde in New York is a much better fit

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    I always thought he was a puerco. But now he’s our puerco, and I love him.

  • Alex68

    This is it…. THIS is the move that’s gonna get us to 90 wins….

  • BCleveland3381

    Not sure why anyone would be against this. Most people were complaining we didn’t have a veteran arm, now we do, one that earned his spot in spring training on a minor deal with a camp invite. Not to mention he’s a guy that’s liked and respected in the clubhouse by all accounts. That’s a good guy to have. Tough to please the miserable trolls I guess.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Agreed! Sandy is making all the right moves as usual.

  • Alex68

    Yup those 77-74-74 wins he’s got with the players HE’s brought in have been truly amazing….

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    That’s what I’m saying! Glad we’re on the same page. #CORE for life!

  • jason bay

    And he is a veteran Latino presence which one poster here has harped on about ad nauseum as if an Izzy or LaTroy are unable or unwilling to share anything with the kids.

  • Mike Lloyd

    With the volatility of bullpens, and relievers year to year, in trying to stay positive, I will root for Valverde…i wish the F.O. would rely more on the talent in the minors like Walters and DeGrom, but I have no issue with Valverde and his resume’ of past success being here. Besides which, screaming and arguing and being critical of them has no effect on this front office…obviously…Did they at least NOTIFY the player 1st he made the team ? Lol

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Absolutely true. A guy like this is worth his weight in- well, he’s very valuable, OK.
    All kidding aside, I often wonder if a man like this could have opened up Valdy’s eyes a little.

  • BigAl831

    I’m sure we’ll be seeing a good amount of DeGrom, Walters, Leathersich, Mazzoni this year. Might as well see what Valverde can give us. He’s looked good and like he has something to prove.

  • Mets4ever

    Although I wasn’t very pleased with this signing I hope he can do the job. That said I would rather see Familia in this role. Fingers crossed he doesn’t implode

  • jason bay

    I think Spin just thought of himself as a superstar/model/entertainer ect and wouldn’t have listened to anyone anyway.

    He was always older than the guys he played with as he wasn’t signed until 19, didn’t get to the States until he was 21 and my overall feeling is I wonder how much he rubbed off on younger kids he was playing with like Flores, Lagares, Marte, Tejada and Pena.

    The best idea of all IMO would be to have a minor league staff counselor at each affiliate to mentor the kids who need it and quarinteen any that need to be as well so that when everyone gets up here they are all on the right page.

  • SteveMiller

    Always nice to have a Jose on the club. To bad he’s not a SP .. He could be the lead off hitter those games.

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    I think it’s a great idea. At some point you’ve got to decide who has rough edges vs who’s permanently warped. Unfortunately a kid like Valdy probably never makes the cut.

  • peter

    Stop with the Jose Reyes comments please, he is way to often injured for the Mets to have signed him. He missed several months last year and he is already getting an MRI on his hammy, someone will have fun with that 20 mill salary the last two years of that deal and thankfully it will not be the Mets.

  • Out of place Mets fan

    So German over Black…well at least they got that right, now if they could pawn Tejeda off on someone as a backup IF clearing the way for Flores…

  • Meh.

  • Joe Orsulak in left

    Parnell and Familia will be good this year. To a lesser extend, rice and Lannan. Torres pitched well last year out of the pen but his stuff is middling; I bet he gets lit up and replaced by June or July.

  • Alex68

    Last 3 years, Reyes has played 379 games
    Wright has played 369 games……


  • Taskmaster4450

    So you would compound the Mets problem by adding a high priced SS who has trouble staying on the field to compliment the high priced 3B who has trouble staying on the field?

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    No way to defend Wright here. I mean, a broken back? The guy should have gutted it out longer than he did. He only played like a month with a broken back. No excuse for that kind of soft play.

  • igotyourbackman

    Games would be even better with a Forum! Just sayin’.

  • DrDooby

    Not only do the Mets have a couple of promising young arms in the mix (Familia & Germen) and depth waiting at AAA (Walters, Black, Leathersich, etc.), the Mets also have several higher upside arms that won´t all fit into the rotation picture either ready or close to being ready: Mejia, Montero, DeGrom, Mazzoni and Verrett remain SP for the time being. But odds are that only one rotation spot at best will be available for this fivesome at the major league level going forward, assuming Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard and at least one of Gee, Colon or Niese is in the 2015 rotation.

    And behind them is the next wave of Fulmer, Matz, Tapia, Ynoa, Cessa and Mateo who should all be in line for late 2015 or early 2016 MLB debuts if all goes well – at least for a couple of them.

    So, there should be a constant stream of arms in the mix. And it starts right here and right now – and looking at the lower levels, it shouldn´t end any time soon.

    Even if the Mets make a major trade between now & Opening Day 2015 and get hit with an injury here or there, there´s a good chance that at least a couple of SP candidates as of today will find themselves in 2015 bullpen roles. Just like Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez and others find themselves in bullpen roles with STL due to their enormous pitching depth.

  • Alex68

    Am i compounding!? weren’t you here when i was advocating us to trade wright after his magical first half of the 2012 season!? i wanted a clean slate from beginning.. new players, for us to righfully suck and build a new team around Harvey and co, not to sign Wright to 8 years for us to be a 4th place team with a captain….

  • jason bay

    The Mets do have numbers in reserve for the bullpen, all guys who have never “done it before” but are looking damn good and out of that we should wind up with 10 arms we can count on once the inevitable growing pains have been worked through.

    Competition has certainly been created in the farm, pitching wise and there are other guys off the radar like Mateo and Beck Wheeler to name a couple.

    If we remain patient we have a very good chance to get this thing built up for years to come and in a sustainable way that can equally balance present and future after being so tilted for a decade and a half and then having to course correct for the last few in the other direction.

    If so, St. Louis here we come.

  • HarveyKsYou

    While we do have some promising young arms, the mets don’t know how to develop them into successful ones at the big league level. The braves know how to do this, hence why every year someone else steps up in that bullpen.

  • trevordunn

    last night was an appetizer on what to expect from the bullpen this year

  • El_Verdadero_Presidente

    Lechon asado con mojo picante…el mejor!