Izzy’s Presence Must Remain For Now

Many of the Mets’ young relievers will agree that Jason Isringhausen’s presence in the bullpen this season has had a positive effect on all of them. Future closers Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato have continued to develop and mature at the major league level this season. Dillon Gee has been a revelation. D.J. Carrasco, Tim Byrdak & Manny Acosta have been spotty at times, but otherwise have met expectations for the season so far.

Tuesday’s trade of Francisco Rodriguez left Jason Isringhausen as the lone member of the Mets bullpen that has experience closing games. Many will agree that Izzy is probably not able to fill the closers void in the Mets’ bullpen on a full time basis anymore. He often needs 2-3 days rest in between appearances… He is almost three years removed from when he was last a full time closer at the major league level… He is almost four years removed from when he last pitched an entire season injury free.

Parnell and Beato are most likely going to be asked to step up their already improved seasons by filling the closers void for the remainder of the 2011 season. I don’t think either will be lights out to begin with, but both should be able to improve and mature by season’s end if they remain under the tutelage of Jason Isringhausen.

For a team that is only 7 1/2 games out of the wild card in mid July, trading their closer and getting what they got in return was a head scratcher for some and a relief for others. If the Mets trade Izzy as rumored, they are trading away their last bullpen leader for the 2011 season.

Unless a team is willing to offer a prospect or two or an immediate major league contributor for Izzy, I would hang onto Izzy for the remainder of the season if only because he serves the purpose of furthering the development of the younger and inexperienced relievers.

Unlike KRod, not much money is invested in Izzy for this season and zero dollars beyond. There is no way the Mets should accept the same or less for Izzy than they did for KRod. If they were 17 games out, then it’s a different story and I wouldn’t be writing this piece and defending one of my favorite Mets of the 2011 season.

I think the Mets definitely have a big winning streak or two left in them this season. Especially if they continue to play as well as they have on the road this season. The Phillies and Braves have been hot and have somewhat padded their division and wild card leads respectively. But they (especially the Braves) could go into .500 mode like they did last season and allow the Mets to inch closer in the standings by September.

Like Yogi Berra said in 1973 “If you ain’t got a bullpen, then you got nothing!”.