Mets Should Forego Free Agent Relievers And Give Young Arms A Shot

cory mazzoniThe Mets may consider converting minor-league righthanded starter Cory Mazzoni into a relief pitcher in Spring Training, a switch suggested by our own Binghamton Mets beat writer John Bernhardt since September. Adam Rubin posted the news on Twitter and said that Mazzoni would get a chance to make the Opening Day roster.

Mazzoni, 24, was plagued by a hamstring and elbow injury last season and only made 12 starts spanning 64 innings. He went 5-3 with a 4.36 ERA and 1.348 WHIP for Double-A Binghamton, while striking out 74 (10.1 K/9) and walking just 19.

The 2011 second rounder throws gas (ranges at 94-95, reaches 97) and could prove to be effective out of the pen as John has stated, and along with B-Mets closer Jeff Walters, the two could give the Mets a pair of young quality arms that could prove just as good as some of the relievers left on the free agent market.

With Bobby Parnell (assuming readiness), Scott Rice, Vic Black and Gonzalez Germen already considered locks for the bullpen, their should be a nice battle between Mazzoni, Walters, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin and possibly Jacob deGrom as well as any other arms the Mets might bring in.

Jack Leathersich is not really an option at this time and requires more work harnessing his command in the minors before he becomes a consideration.

But it’s great to see the Mets in a position to have a bullpen stocked with many homegrown pitchers that could prove to be very valuable assets down the road.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.