It is not anything new. The Mets bullpen has always been a weakness of the team. When Bobby Parnell was shut down for the entire 2014 season, it felt like more of the same. Sandy Alderson had never been one to put a lot of stock, or money for that matter, into a bullpen. So it seemed that the bullpen would continue to be a weakness, at least until the Mets needed places for their surplus of starting pitching prospects.
Well now, 58 games into the season, the bullpen has transformed itself into something promising. The Mets 3.32 bullpen ERA ranks 12th best in the majors and 8th best in the National League. The key to this turn around has been the power arms that have emerged. Guys like Jerurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Vic Black, Josh Edgin since being called up and even Carlos Torres have all had success this season.
Mejia has shown that he is a great fit for the closer role, and his post inning celebrations are a spectacle for all to see Familia’s been a bit of a work in progress but as of late his stuff has been just un-hittable. He has a plus fastball and his slider is becoming a huge strike out pitch. Vic Black is one of the newer additions to this bullpen, but seems to fit in just fine. The flame-thrower is known for his command issues, but has looked good so far in the setup role. Black’s curveball is one of the nastier pitches in the bullpen and it has helped him get outs. Josh Edgin hasn’t been with the team very long and seems to be used as a left-handed specialist most of the time, but he has looked good as well. If he can keep it up, the Mets have a number of options on the back-end late in games.
The Mets starting pitching has always been touted as the strength of this team. The starters are usually going to get anywhere from 16-20 outs every time they go on the mound. It’s up to the bullpen to get those remaining 7-9 outs. In the past, it was an adventure and an entirely different game when the bullpen arrived. But now, the bullpen has been doing a great job of keeping leads and keeping the Mets in games.
The starting pitching has been about where it was supposed to be. The bullpen has been getting better throughout the course of the season. There are still problems in there (Scott Rice is one of the problems), but the bullpen has become less of a weakness and more of an asset to the team. So the pitching as a whole has become better. The young arms have keyed the success of the bullpen; although it seems they are being run out there every day to keep this Met team in games because of a putrid offense. The Mets shouldn’t let this turnaround in the bullpen go to waste. The bullpen is actually helping them win games instead of blowing them, hopefully that can translate into more W’s in the win column.