Looking at the 2017 Mets bullpen

bullpenNow that the Mets have settled their bullpen situation by retaining lefty Jerry Blevins and right hander Fernando Salas let’s look at how it could set up. With the upcoming suspension for closer Jeurys Familia looming the Mets have a few decisions to make for the beginning of the season.

Familia is facing at least a 30-game suspension, stemming from a domestic violence arrest last October.  He is coming off a year in which he put up a 2.55 ERA in 77.2 IP with 84 K’s and 31 walks allowed.  He set a Met’s club record with 51 saves.  Luckily for the Mets they have a solid backup plan for Familia in setup man Addison Reed.

Addison Reed is coming off a dominant 2016 campaign.  In what was possibly one of the best seasons for a Mets relief pitcher ever he posted a 1.97 ERA in 77.2 IP with 91 K’s and 13 walks allowed.  He put up 40 Holds and 1 Save.  He was the lynchpin to the team’s bullpen and should be able to flourish in the closers role while Familia is serving his suspension.

Reed becoming the team’s de facto closer, the role of setup man will be up for grabs.  The two most likely candidates to take over the position will be righties Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas.  Robles has flashed the ability to be a high leverage late inning pitcher with a lively fastball that averaged 95 MPH last season he has the fire as well as the attitude to be a late inning option.  Entering his third full season of big league ball the team is hoping he blossoms this season.

Fernando Salas was retained on a one year pact for three million dollars.  This is following a late year trade from the Angels in which he helped to solidify the Mets bullpen pitching in the seventh inning role and only surrendering four runs in 17.1 IP.  He should have the inside track on the eighth inning role, though Terry Collins may opt to leave him in the seventh inning role he is accustomed to.

The Mets also brought back reliever Jerry Blevins on a one year deal for six and a half million dollars and a team option for seven million dollars with a one million buyout.  When healthy he has been everything the team could hope for and more.  Last year he also emerged as a left-handed reliever, with the ability to get out batters from the both sides of the plate.  He allowed a .250 batting average facing lefties while allowing an impressive .172 batting average versus right handers. Bringing back both Blevins and Salas has helped to solidify the Mets bullpen which emerged as a strength last season.

The remaining spots should be filled by a combination of Seth Lugo, Josh Smoker, Josh Edgin, and whomever doesn’t win the fifth starters role out of Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler.  These pitchers have a lot of upside and should help to round out a very strong bullpen for the Mets entering the 2017 season.

11 comments for “Looking at the 2017 Mets bullpen

  1. TexasGusCC
    February 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Mike nice job covering the late innings. A few additional things to cover the middle innings::
    – Blevins signed for $5.5MM with an option or a $1MM buyout, thus making it a guaranteed one year $6.5MM.
    – Edgin is out of options. He is the most interesting case because if his velocity isn’t back to where it was before surgery, Smoker is the better call in which case, Edgin would have to clear waivers to be sent down.
    – Collins has already come out and said that Wheeler will be on an innings limit and will benefit from starting in the bullpen. So, Lugo or Gsellman will be the odd man out and goes to Vegas to be pitching every fifth day and be ready.
    – Sewald is the most ready of the bullpen arms, but is only an injury replacement it appears. He tops out at about 91 and that didn’t even interest another team in Rule 5 this passed winter.

  2. Jimmy P
    February 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I am a little underwhelmed by the pen, but that could change if either Wheeler or Gsellman steps up and performs. There’s decent quality and depth, but I’d love one more lights out reliever to go with Reed and Familia.

    I’ll say it again, for the 3rd or 4th year. Montero has one shot, and that’s to fully embrace the reliever’s role and try to sneak in the back door. There are always opportunities.

    I am not saying he’d succeed — he’s provided ample evidence to lead us to the contrary conclusion — but he should be dreaming of a long man, middle-inning role, working in AAA out of the pen. Hard to imagine a more massive failure than he had last season.

    • February 14, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I still can’t wrap my head around the fact Montero is still here and Ynoa is not. Total failure, both on the field and in trade talks.

    • Eraff
      February 14, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Montero doesn’t have an Out Pitch or a Mix….and his control issues tell me that he knows it. He’s trying to succeed by being Perfect. He will not throw a strike to an MLB Hitter.He may be right! He may not be able to throw strikes to MLB hitters, but there’s not a Pitcher who ever succeeded without doing it.

      I don’t know if he adds enough velocity, or whether he concentrates his mix to 2 pitches as a reliever—or maybe he adds/refines a Pitch and finds some courage, and throws some strikes. He cannot succeed with his present mix or approach.

    • February 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Jeurys Familia is a lights-out closer.
      Addison Reed is one of the top set-up men in the game.
      Hansel Robles can blow a fastball past any hitter in the majors and has had great success versus LHB
      Jerry Blevins had a great year in 2016 and has a 10-year career of being a solid MLB reliever
      Fernando Salas was outstanding in his brief time with the Mets last year and in his seven years in the majors has limited batters to a 1.156 WHIP

      The Mets have five solid or better relievers in place and the ability to mix and match among numerous others for the last two spots. I’m mystified how anyone could look at what the Mets have available and come away feeling underwhelmed. While the small sample sizes of relievers make everyone susceptible to poor fortune, this group is capable of being even better than the pen that the Mets had in 2006.

      I enter the 2017 season thinking that with good health and reasonable fortune that the bullpen is a team strength.

      • Chris F
        February 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        I like the overall look as you have expressed it Brian, save one thing. I jsut cannot see Familia as lights out. Saves are a stat of the past. This guy has real control issues now, and a 2.5 ERA with a 1.2 WHIP is not anywhere near lights out, like Chapman, Miller, or Jansen. He’s in the second cut as a solid closer, but I have just as much confidence in Reed, many nights even more.

      • MattyMets
        February 14, 2017 at 6:12 pm

        Completely agree, Brian. The bullpen is not among my concerns for this team.

    • TexasGusCC
      February 14, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Jimmy, underwhelmed? Can you expand on that?

      • Jimmy P
        February 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        It’s the same bullpen as last season, except Familia will be out the first 1/5th of the season. I think it’s a good bullpen. Good quality, good depth.

        I wish he did something to improve upon it.

        However, as I said, if Wheeler or Gsellman are able step up, I believe they could possibly deliver what this pen is lacking, IMO. One more “uh-oh” type, shut-down reliever.

  3. Chris F
    February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Hi Montero is still in this organization is a mystery to me. His cat-like 9 lives is on 12 already. He may have been able to fool minor league hitters with placement, but thats not working at all in the bigs. His pitches have zero movement…like hitting off a tee. I think he also has a seriously underwhelming score on “make-up.” I didn’t care much for Ynoa either, but rebuilding Montero at 26 yo from PSL or Bingo or….Brooklyn is a waste of time. The Mets have more than succeeded bring arms up from the minors, probably with greater success than any other team; this is just one that got away.

  4. Eraff
    February 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I like the pen…plenty of talent and plenty of time to define it and grow it

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