They say, and by they I mean GKR and whatever you want to call that group on WOR of late, that the pitchers are all ahead of the hitters during the first two weeks of Grapefruit League games. And while one shouldn’t go ape s–t over spring training numbers especially at this early stage of the game, you can’t entirely ignore them either. Especially while roles on the 25 man roster are being contested.
So far, the so-called locks for the Mets bullpen have looked very shabby and some Mets sources have even told Adam Rubin that relievers Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde have looked unimpressive and in Farnsworth’s case his fastball hasn’t eclipsed 87 mph yet.
Josh Edgin, who was hoping to lock down one spot as a second lefthander, has looked awful and has a 13.50 ERA with five runs, six hits, and three walks allowed in 2.0 innings pitched. He’s hanging by a thread.
Another reliever the Mets are counting on is Vic Black. So far, he’s dealt with bouts of wildness in his two appearances. Yesterday, he walked the bases loaded before Jeff Walters came in and bailed him out of trouble. Black has allowed a run on two hits and four walks in 2.0 innings pitched.
Yesterday, John Dreker from PiratesProspects.com tweeted me during the game:
While Black has had very high walk rates throughout his pro career, I saw an interesting tend while observing his his numbers over the last four seasons.
- Single-A: 5.6 BB/9
- Advanced-A: 5.4 BB/9
- Double-A: 4.4 BB/9
- Triple-A: 4.0 BB/9
Black has shown considerable improvement in each of the last four pro seasons and during his rookie season in 2013, he posted an unalarming 3.2 walk rate between the Mets and the Pirates. The young righthander is still a work in progress and I would like to see his 7.9 strikeout rate climb near to the 11-12 levels he displayed in the minors.