Dan Warthen – The Sacrificial Lamb?

Someone is ultimately going to have to answer for the collapse of the Mets pitching staff and poor performance of the bullpen in 2012. It won’t be Sandy Alderson.  I doubt it will be Terry Collins. The only person left is Dan Warthen.

Is it really fair that Warthen takes full responsibility for what has happened with the Mets pitching staff over the course of this year?

Warthen did a fantastic job with the pitching staff in 2012 right up to the All-Star break. His job is to get as much out of his pitchers as he can, and put the offense in the best position to go out and win the game. That is exactly what he did for the first half of the year. The starting staff was pitching great, and we all thought the team was primed for a playoff run. They were hitting on all cylinders…and then the wheels came off.

The Mets bullpen has been about as reliable as a chair with three legs this year. But who’s to blame for that?  Is it the pitching coach’s fault? Should it fall on the manager, who ultimately makes the decisions on which pitchers to bring into the game? Or is it on the general manager who brought these guys in?

There isn’t much coaching that can be done when it comes to bullpen guys. They are either going to perform, or choke – so I think that clears Warthen to a degree with the bullpen. We can’t blame him for the pitchers he has in the bullpen. Putting all the blame on Warthen for the bullpen woes, when Alderson brought these guys in, really isn’t fair to Warthen.

I don’t know if we can blame Warthen for what has happened to the starting pitching either. It isn’t Warthen’s fault Santana seems to be running out of gas. We can’t blame him for Gee getting a damaged artery. We can’t blame him for Dickey not being as effective the second half of the year. In fact, he’s doing about as good a job as can be asked given the situation surrounding this starting staff.

I’m not saying Warthen is a great pitching coach. I am looking at this strictly from the perspective of the 2012 season, and what he should be held accountable for. Everyone played a part in this collapse. But regardless of who it is, someone will be held accountable for what has happened in 2012. Unfortunately for Warthen, he may be the person who receives a pink slip come season’s end.