Thoughts on the Future of the Mets Bullpen

An article by posted on March 27, 2014 0 Comments

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.

Sach

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 the Author ()

David was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a lifelong Mets fan. He is the Senior Editor for MMO and also the Executive Editor for our Minor League site, MetsMinors.Net. David is also a photographer and shares his great photos here on MMO.