No, this isn’t another post telling you that the Mets have the worst bullpen in baseball, No need to rehash all that again and again. Instead lets talk about solutions.
Yesterday we read that Padres closer Huston Street will be one of the players expected to be on the market as the trade deadline nears. There’s no doubt that Street will significantly help any team in search for some late inning relief and apparently all one needs to do is take on his salary and throw the Pads a bone or two. Street is owed about $4 million for the rest of this year and the team holds a $9 million dollar option for 2013. He’s definitely worth looking into and hey, would the Padres have any interest in Jenrry Mejia or Darin Gorski? You won’t know unless you ask.
Yesterday I saw a cool piece on ESPN New York by Eric Simon and Matt Meyers who took turns ranking the current relievers in the Mets bullpen.
Rank the Mets relievers in terms of importance.
Meyers: Starting from the top, I’ll go Bobby Parnell, Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez, Tim Byrdak, Jon Rauch. Call me crazy, but I think Parnell, who has always had bad luck on balls in play, is the best reliever the Mets have, and Terry Collins should use him as much as possible. Ramirez is also key because of his changeup, and when he’s on (like he was in 2011), he can shut down righties and lefties. I’m of the mind that the Mets bullpen is better than it appears, but the team really needs Ramirez to come around.
Simon: I’ll disagree with the first half of your last sentence, and tweak your ranking slightly. I’m good with rating Parnell and Francisco one-two, but I’d rate Byrdak third-most important, and newcomer Justin Hampson fourth, ahead of Rauch and Ramirez. I think what you saw in the Yankees series was the value that one team got from having two effective lefty relievers and the value another team (the Mets) lost by having only one.
I was actually a little stoked when I saw Simon rank Justin Hampson so high and I gotta tell ya, I agree with him. I’ve seen enough of Jon Rauch this season to realize that last season wasn’t just an off year for him. Instead it was an indication that his career was in steep decline and most of the important metrics backed that up.
Tim Byrdak is what he is and these days every team needs a LOOGY who can come in and neutralize a tough lefty batter late in the game. Byrdak does his job extremely well, but lets face it, he’s a one-batter (maybe two-batter) reliever at best.
Ramon Ramirez? What a disappointment. I loved that deal. That said, I’m not giving up on him just yet.
Bobby Parnell is an enigma. Such incredible metrics and such disastrous results when called upon to close out a game. How can someone who looks so good on paper perform so badly in the ninth? Maybe there’s something to this clutch thing? Nah.
So here’s my bullpen rankings:
1. Frank Francisco – I only counted three closers with more saves.
2. Bobby Parnell – Stop over-thinking everything and just pitch.
3. Tim Byrdak – He is what he is and get’s it done.
4. Justin Hampson – We got a live one here.
5. Ramon Ramirez – You’re killing me dude.
6. Jon Rauch – Face it dude, love the tats, but you’re in steep decline.
7. Miguel Batista – Why he gets called on in late innings is still a mystery to me.
Care to play along?