Can the Mets trust Jose Valverde?

Now that the New York Mets have lost another important bullpen arm in Bobby Parnell, the Mets will now have to live on the edge and rely on veteran closer Jose Valverde to lock down games for the foreseeable future.

If it hasn’t been rocky before in the Mets’ bullpen before, well, buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Valverde has been known to give managers, and fans alike, heartburn.

As you probably know, the Mets placed Parnell on the disabled list with an incomplete tear of the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in his right elbow. As of right now, the Mets are not ruling Parnell out for the year, but the hopes are slim that Parnell can come back and pitch the way he did last season. The plan is to have him reevaluated in six weeks, have him throw and then make a determination. His tear is in a “somewhat different location” than Matt Harvey according to General Manager Sandy Alderson.

With Parnell going on the DL, the Mets brought up reclamation project Kyle Farnsworth to take his spot in the bullpen. But make no mistake, the role of closer will be Valverde’s job.

Who else would it be any way?

Thus far the Mets bullpen has been awful. Yes, I know shocking news. In two games, one of which the relief corps was entirely at fault for the Mets losing on Opening Day, the bullpen has combined to pitch 6.1 innings while allowing seven earned runs on nine hits and four walks. That’s simply unacceptable.

However, if there has been one silver lining thus far, it has been the pitching of Valverde.

In his debut on Monday, Valverde pitched an inning and a third while allowing no hits, no walks and striking out three batters. Not only that, but Valverde cleaned up the mess; stranding the runners Carlos Torres and Scott Rice put on base on with consecutive walks in the 7th inning. Valverde would then get out of the jam with big strikeout of Ryan Zimmerman. He was then in line  for the win after pitching a perfect 8th inning with Juan Lagares hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the  inning to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.

You know the rest.

Parnell would subsequently blow the lead in the 9th inning. Shortly after that, Jeurys Familia and John Lannan would implode and give the Mets little shot of winning.

With Parnell out, it will have to be Valverde to carry the load for this underperforming unit. Sure, Valverde is probably not what he once was, but at this point, he be the best option the Mets have at this juncture.  

That’s a scary notion.

What ultimately doomed Valverde last year was his propensity to serve up the long ball, as he allowed six dingers in 19 1/3 innings with the Tigers. If he can limit the long ball, Valverde can pass for a serviceable and competent closer.

Like a broken record, the Mets success or lack thereof going forward will be defined by their bullpen and until we get definitive word on what Parnell’s prognosis for recovery is, the Mets will sink or swim based on the success Valverde has.

It’s time for “Papa Grande,” as he affectionately is called, to come up, well, grand.

8 comments for “Can the Mets trust Jose Valverde?

  1. April 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Wow! What a shock! The bullpen implodes again. It’s going to be a very long season. I think SA and Met management will have to re-evaluate their 90 win season with this anemic group. Maybe 85 wins? Right….

  2. April 3, 2014 at 9:23 am

    They have to trust Valvarde, at this point. 85 wins? Why not 90, only 2 games.

  3. Name
    April 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Can we trust him after 1 appearance? No
    Should we trust him after 1 appearance? No
    Do we have any choice but to trust him after 1 appearance? Unfortunately, Yes.

    If Carlos Torres can’t be even half of what he was last season out of the pen, there are going to be a lot of ugly games lost at the end.

  4. Chris F
    April 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Whatever happened to LaTroy Hawkins?

    :-/

    • Name
      April 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Blowing games for Colorado now.

  5. Metsense
    April 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Inviting Valverde and Farnsworth to spring training as non roster invites was a good move on Alderson’s part. It is a cheap and risk free way to build a bullpen. Valverde pitched well enough to make the team but should not have been projected as the fall back for Parnell. Parnell was coming off an injury going into spring training and the proper move would have been to sign an inexpensive veteran reliever with closer experience and also to resign Hawkins for $2.5M. Really, how can you call yourselves competitive when you can’t spring $5-6 M on a suspect bullpen?
    Sandy stated in a month (after enough time as not to lose a year of player control) there may be a chance to bring up one of the Vegas starters for the bullpen. I understand the fiscal thinking in that and “starter turned reliever” is a sucessful Cardinal formula .
    Farnsworth did not pitch good enough to make the team and he should have had to show some improvement before he was called up. Maybe Walters, German or Black would have been a better call. Then again, Familia has not seized the opportunity either. Sandy was very negligent in addressing three needs this past winter: SS, the bullpen and resolution of first base.

    • Chris F
      April 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      “Sandy was very negligent in addressing three needs this past winter: SS, the bullpen and resolution of first base.”

      I absolutely agree. He made a mess of those positions and neglected to deal with the batting order properly.

      I want to know why he didn’t go after jose Abreu who could have single handedly solved 1B. I want to know Ike is a Met? I want to know why in 4 tries he cannot make any ground with the bull pen. I want to know why he signed CY for 7+ M$. And i want to know why Tejada is seen as acceptable for a team implored to win 90 games.

  6. April 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

    No money Chris. SA thought it would be cheaper to have 3 incomplete players vie for first base rather than sink all his eggs into one player(moneyball?). Besides it’s cost effective in the long run (sarcasm). If the first three games are a microcosm off what the future holds then we are in for a very very long season and SA may not get an extension.

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