Is Nick Evans the next Heath Bell?

Last Friday the Mets outrighted Jason Pridie and Nick Evans to Triple-A. They could have accepted the assignment or elected free agency. They both chose free agency.

A day later Pridie signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s. Pridie was just an OK player for the Mets, but he’s easily replaceable and won’t be missed too much.

Now it’s time to see where Evans ends up. He’s been bounced around back and forth from the majors to triple-A so many times that it… dear I say it, it reminds me of Heath Bell. Since his debut in 2008, he’s been call-up and sent down about 10 times, and was designated for assignment twice last year within almost a month of each other.

Evans has been in the Mets minor league systems since he was 18. Every year since 2004 to 2009 he’s been called up to a high level, and the last two seasons he’s ripped up double-A and triple-A. In 2010 he combined for 23 home runs, 83 RBI, and hit .300 with a .371 OBP in 487 at-bats between Binghamton and Buffalo. In 2011 his entire minor stint was spent in Buffalo, where he hit 8 home runs, 32 RBI, and hit .313 with a .375 OBP in 249 at-bats. He spent the rest of the 2011 season with the Mets, where he hit four home runs, drove him 25 RBI, and hit .256 with a .314 OBP. Hopefully Evans isn’t the type of player who rocks minor league pitchers, but can’t swing it in the majors.

Do I think he can start for the Mets next season? Not at all. But he can play first and the corner outfield positions, which can be very valuable. He’d be able to fill in for Luca Duda or Ike Davis against a tough lefty, or give Jason Bay a day off if he needs it.

I feel like Evans has always been undervalued by the Mets. If he goes somewhere else he might flourish and the Mets will regret giving up on him and sending him to the minors every other week.

Now I might just be paranoid because the same thing happened to Bell and now he’s one of the best closers in baseball, but I’ve always had a good feeling about Evans, I don’t know what it is. I don’t see him as a starter, but he’s a good guy to have pinch hitting or fill in for a couple of weeks if someone lands on the DL.

I really hope the Mets bring him back and don’t let him get away. Otherwise, in a couple of years, they might have wished they had.

It’s still Groundhog Day for Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy

In 2008 the Mets did not have a starting left fielder. Angel Pagan drew the Opening Day assignment but he made just 20 starts that season. Pagan was one of 12 players to start in left for the Mets in 2008. By September manager Jerry Manuel had a platoon in left field featuring 22-year-old Nick Evans and 23-year-old Daniel Murphy, two players who combined for 26 games of experience in the minors at the position.

But fans really grew attached to both halves of the platoon. The righty Evans had a .905 OPS over his final 13 games while the lefty Murphy had a .313/.397/.473 line in 151 PA. Fans were excited for both players, figuring the club had just promoted two guys who would play big roles for the team in the next 10+ years.

However, Evans fell out of favor with management and did not even make the club out of Spring Training in 2009, a feat he repeated in both 2010 and this season, even though he was out of options in 2011. Meanwhile Murphy began 2009 as the team’s full-time left fielder. He started off fine, but a few high-profile fielding gaffes helped put him in a slump which eventually cost him his starting job.

Only the team’s never-ending injury parade allowed Murphy not to get buried and suffer the same fate as Evans. Finally, he discovered himself as the club’s starting first baseman, broke out of his offensive funk and had an .825 OPS over his final 266 PA of the 2009 season.

But Murphy was not out of the woods. He had the inside track to the first base job but then got hurt in Spring Training. Shortly after the 2010 season, Ike Davis established himself in the majors and Murphy was trying to convert to another position in the minors and came down with a season-ending injury.

In the 2009-2010 seasons, Evans appeared in just 50 games. He was limited to just 106 PA with the Mets and produced an uninspiring .708 OPS. His career, which seemed so bright as a 22-year old, was now at a crossroads. There was no room for him as a starter on the 2011 squad and the club brought in veteran Scott Hairston, who offered the same skill set, to compete for one of the bench spots.

As Spring Training was underway, Murphy was ostensibly in the running for the second base job but most people predicted he would be a super-sub while Evans was in a dog fight to make the Opening Day roster. With no options remaining, it appeared that this was Evans’ last chance with the Mets, as surely someone would claim him if he was placed on waivers.

It turns out that Evans did not make the Opening Day roster and was not claimed, either. He got a promotion to the majors in the third week of May but was sent down a few weeks later, again still not claimed by any of the other 29 clubs. Amazingly, this process was completed again in July. While Evans was not producing in sporadic playing time with the Mets, he had a .313/.375/.462 line at Triple-A and could play either outfield corner, first base and even fake it at third base. Now on his third stint with the Mets, Evans has a .424/.474/.697 line in his last 38 PA, with six of his 14 hits going for extra-bases.

Murphy played himself into the every day lineup for the 2011 Mets and turned out to be one of the team’s top hitters. Just when he looked like he was establishing himself as an important part in the team’s future, he suffered his second straight season-ending injury while covering the bag at second base. The Mets seemed very hesitant to use him as a second baseman before this happened and it’s extremely unlikely he will play the position in 2012, at least for the Mets.

Next year Ike Davis is likely to be the team’s starter at first base, while Lucas Duda is staking a claim on right field. That would leave no open starting jobs for either Evans or Murphy, despite what they have done here in 2011. A bench featuring Evans and Murphy would seem like a terrific thing to have. But if they end up sitting behind Jason Bay and Justin Turner, that’s a poor allocation of resources and something that would be surprising for a guy with Sandy Alderson’s reputation, especially given the team’s status as a below .500 also-ran.

Murphy’s bat is too good to be a reserve on a non-playoff club. Evans should be in a platoon role somewhere. Perhaps a Duda-Evans timeshare could work, but Duda has an .813 OPS versus LHP this year, which is not screaming out for a platoon partner.

No one was interested in Evans when they could pick him up for free, so it’s hard to imagine he has any trade value. And how much would Murphy, a guy with no established defensive position and one who’s suffered consecutive season-ending injuries, fetch in a deal?

Alderson has his work cut out for him because his available pieces apparently don’t fit and there are enough question marks to severely limit the trade value of his extra pieces. Duda and David Wright probably have the most trade value, but Wright is the face of the franchise and unless they could get a top-of-the-rotation starter, it would make no sense to trade a cost-controlled asset like Duda.

So, we likely end up with Evans and Murphy in limbo once again in 2012. It’s easy to picture both of them waking up like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, turning off the alarm clock that plays “I’ve Got You Babe.” But for Evans and Murphy, 2012 would be the fourth year of running in place, trying to establish themselves as fixtures on the major league roster. It’s not what we thought would happen at all after their impressive debuts in 2008.

Assessing Nick Evans’ future with the Mets

As injuries continue to ravage the Mets, and with the team flailing as the season comes to a close, many players will get an opportunity to make their case for future inclusion with the Mets.

Enter Nick Evans.

Evans has really turned a corner late in the summer and is in the midst of an impressive streak. Evans is now batting .409 with one home run, six RBI’s and seven runs scored in the month of August.

For four years now, Evans has shuttled back and forth between the minors and Queens, but has never been able to take up permanent residence with the Mets. Is this his time now?

While the Mets continue to rack up ugly losses, GM Sandy Alderson has no other choice but to attentively look to the 2012 season and beyond for respite. Alderson will have to figure out who has a place on next year’s team and where they would fit in.

That makes the case of Evans a particularly interesting one.

So, what kind of future does Evans really have with this club? It’s a question Mets’ brass have wrestled with for far too long.

No one will argue that Evans should be an everyday starter, but he can be used in a pinch in several spots off the bench at both the corner outfield and infield positions.

Evans should have a place on this team for two reasons. A)He’s reasonably young (25-years-old) and will fortify the youth movement that Alderson company want to implement and B)He does incredibly well hitting against lefties.

Consider his career splits against lefties as opposed to righties:

Vs. Lefties .300/.369/.487 for a 856 OPS
Vs. Righties .181/.221/.305 for a 526 OPS

While Alderson has his homework to do in preparation for how this team will look in 2012, with the way Evans is playing, just maybe he should pencil in him as at least a reserve considering guys like Scott Hairston and Willie Harris will likely not be coming back.

It’s time to keep Evans on the team for good this time. Just limit his at-bats against righties and you’ll have a very productive bat off the bench. If he stays for good, it will only help his confidence in knowing that he has job security.

Again, we’re not talking about a superstar, but Evans has earned the right to play with the big boys.

Nick Evans makes case for his roster spot

If you polled 10 Mets fans, all 10 would say that Nick Evans has gotten the short end of the stick in his career with New York. This explains why everyone was so happy that Evans delivered an RBI triple in Saturday’s 11-2 rout of the Phillies. We want to see Evans get a chance to play because we are convinced there is an MLB-quality player just waiting to bust out.

It looked like this would be the year that Evans finally got an extended chance with the Mets. After all he was out of options and the Mets needed a RH bat off the bench. Evans had a solid Spring Training, as he posted a .333/.378/.420 line in 69 at-bats. But he was outplayed by Scott Hairston, who recorded an OPS nearly 300 points higher than Evans and outhomered him 4-0.

The Mets kept Hairston and placed Evans on waivers. To everyone’s surprise, Evans cleared waivers and went back to Triple-A Buffalo. There Evans hit .333 with 5 HR and 16 RBIs in his first 36 games and earned a call back to the majors. He saw sporadic time in his three weeks with the Mets and made matters worse by going hitless in 12 at-bats. Again Evans was placed on waivers and again he cleared.

Evans didn’t sulk. Instead he hit even better than in his first stint in Buffalo. Evans had 39 hits in 84 ABs (.464) with 11 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in 21 games before being summoned once again to New York. He went hitless in his first start but came through in a couple of appearances as a substitute before coming up with a big hit as a starter in Saturday’s game against Cole Hamels.

There are two main things that Evans brings to a club. First is his ability to hit southpaws and the other is his defensive versatility. Evans is a first baseman but he can also play an outfield corner and in a pinch he could even cover third base. There are people who have carved out a nice career with less to offer.

For example, Matt Diaz has played nine seasons in the majors and has made over $2 million in each of the past three years. Diaz has an .881 OPS in his career versus LHP, which is his meal ticket. By comparison, Evans has an .862 OPS versus southpaws, albeit in just 152 PA. How is it that Diaz, a butcher in the OF, can be worth five times the minimum wage but Evans passes through waivers twice?

The numerous injuries to the Mets’ starters have given Evans another shot in the majors. Now it’s up to him to take advantage and maintain his roster spot once the regulars return. Uncharacteristically, Evans struggled versus southpaws this season. His hit versus Hamels yesterday was his first this year versus a lefty starter.

But the sample size we’re dealing with here is incredibly small. However, when you are trying to impress the decision-makers, you best come through whenever the opportunity presents itself. Evans needs to hit when he gets the chance as the Mets’ walking-wounded should start returning soon.

The Mets should make at least two moves regarding hitters by the end of the month, as both Jose Reyes and David Wright should be back before the start of August. Evans will be in a group along with Lucas Duda, Willie Harris, Jason Pridie and Ruben Tejada vying for the rights to remain in New York. There are reasons to keep all five of these players, so the decision will likely come down to who produces the most in the next week to 10 days.

Duda seems the most likely to go, but if he hits a couple of home runs then everything changes. Pridie has not seen much playing time, but he is a good defensive outfielder and the only legitimate CF besides Angel Pagan on the roster. Harris has seven hits in his last 16 ABs, can play the infield or outfield and has experience as a pinch-hitter. Tejada has struggled with the bat lately but has been praised for his defense and his ability to play SS is a point in his favor, especially given the renewed uncertainty about Reyes’ durability.

Evans’ experience at first base makes him a better candidate than Duda to remain with the club as long as Ike Davis is sidelined. But his time may run out if/when Davis can return to the field. At that point, the Mets will have two capable defensive first baseman besides Evans and Hairston will still be the first choice as a RH bat off the bench. Also, if the Mets opt for either Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada as their starting 2B once everyone is healthy, they will also have Justin Turner as a RH pinch-hitting option.

So, Evans needs to produce and he needs to do it right away. Yesterday’s game, where he had a hit, a walk, two runs and an RBI, was a big step in the right direction. Now he just needs to do more of the same. Unfortunately, the next six pitchers the Mets are scheduled to face are all righties, which means that Evans is likely to be on the bench.

But if Evans wants to remain in the majors, he’ll have to get used to prolonged stretches where he does not start. Pinch-hitting will be a big part of his job and he will have to come though in those opportunities to impress the brass. So far this season, Evans is 1-4 with three walks as a pinch-hitter.

Live Chat: Carlos Beltran, Nick Evans and Mets

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mets360 chat. This will begin today at 1:00 Eastern time and run for at least 30 minutes. Ask any question about the Mets and we’ll do our best to get it answered. Sometimes Firefox has some issues with the chat software, so if you are having troubles viewing the window once the event goes live, try opening it in another browser.

Using Nick Evans to explain MLB option rules

Ranking right up there with the balk rule, one of the least understood rules in baseball are those pertaining to player options. Each year the option rules determine the fate of many players. This year, several Mets players are out of options and may have a leg up making the major league team out of Spring Training. These include Manny Acosta, Pat Misch and Nick Evans.

In Major League Baseball, Rule 11 spells out how clubs are limited in how often they can send players back and forth to the minors. In a side note – in MLB Rules are designated with numbers, while Articles are designated with Roman Numerals. That’s why it is the Rule 5 Draft, not the Rule V Draft.

Here is a primer on Rule 11:

In general, a team may only keep a player in the minor leagues for three seasons after that player is added to the team’s 40-man roster. Each of those years is considered an “option year” or an “optional assignment.” Thus, in other words, a player is said to have three “options” or “option years.”

• Prior to being placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a player is not considered to be on optional assignment, but simply under minor league contract.
• Generally, once a player is added to the 40-man roster, that player must either be: (1) added to the active 25-man roster for the major league team; (2) placed on an inactive list; or (3) on an optional assignment to the minors. If a player is added to the 40-man roster during the off-season, the team has until the first game of the upcoming season to decide whether the player will be optioned.
• Once the player has spent twenty consecutive days on optional assignment, that player’s “option year” burns. However, it is important to note that during an option year, the player is free to move up and down between the major leagues and the minor leagues, while only burning one “option” for that season, regardless of the number of times that the player moves up and down from the minors to the majors.

This is a good rule for players, as it helps them from being stuck with a club that will not give them a shot at a major league job. The tricky thing is to determine when a player was added to the club’s 40-man roster. Clubs can put players on the 40-man roster whenever they want. However, all players in the majors must be on the 40-man and those in the minors have to be on the 40-man once they reach a certain level of service time.

Players who were 18 or younger on the June 5th preceding the signing of their first pro contract must be added after five minor league seasons. Players who were 19 or older must be added after four minor league seasons.

So, Nick Evans was 18 when he was drafted and signed in 2004. By rule, he had to be added to the 40-man roster following the 2008 season. But the Mets called him up to the majors in May of 2008, so he was added to the 40-man roster during the 2008 season. Evans played with the Mets through June 3rd and then was sent back to the minors. He spent more than 20 days in the minors, thus using one of his option years.

He was optioned again in 2009 and 2010. So there were his three options used. Now, Evans has to be on the major league roster or pass through waivers before he can be sent to the minors. In the past, Evans has perhaps gotten a raw deal from the Mets and now the option rules prevent them from doing this to him any longer.

The fact that Evans is out of options, combined with the fact that he can play first base and both outfield corners (and could at least stand at third base in the event of a crisis) gives him an advantage in making the Mets’ Opening Day roster.

Sizing up the Mets’ 2011 Opening Day roster

While there are several jobs up in the air, the Opening Day roster is starting to take shape for the Mets. There are 17 positions which seem set and another four which seem likely. And the remaining four are possibly already on the team, it is just a matter of which direction Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson choose to go.

The definites
Pelfrey, Dickey, Niese, Capuano, Rodriguez, Parnell, Buchholz, Carrasco, Thole, Paulino, Davis, Wright, Reyes, Hu, Bay, Beltran, Pagan

The likely
Gee, Acosta, Murphy, Evans

For lack of a better option, Dillon Gee seems to be the club’s fifth starter. There also remains the possibility he becomes a long man/swing guy if the Mets sign another starter before the start of Spring Training.

Manny Acosta had 42 strikeouts in 39.2 IP for the Mets last year and a 2.95 ERA. He is not yet eligible for arbitration and seems like a good, low-cost reliever. One thing working in his favor is his success last year versus LHB, who posted a .163/.217/.256 mark, albeit in just 46 PA.

Daniel Murphy might be the starting second baseman on Opening Day. Even if he does not win the job, his ability to play multiple positions (he played third base in the minors and left field and first base for the Mets) seems like an obvious asset, unless the Mets want him to go to the minors to concentrate on playing second on a daily basis.

Nick Evans should benefit from the shift in management, having, for whatever reason, seemingly fallen out of favor with Manuel/Minaya. Evans’ ability to play first base, along with both corner outfield spots, seems to give him a leg up. Also, being a righty bat with some sock helps Evans’ chances.

That leaves two bullpen spots, a second baseman and one other reserve position, likely an outfielder, up for grabs. It makes sense that the two Rule 5 guys – Pedro Beato and Brad Emaus – get a long look to fill a reliever spot and the second base job.

Next, the question is if the Mets hold onto Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo because of their contracts or if they are willing to eat part of all of their salaries in trades/releases. If the Mets do get rid of Perez, how important is having a lefty in the bullpen? Southpaw Mike O’Connor was unimpressive in two short stints with the Nationals, but had 70 Ks in 70.2 IP in Buffalo last year with a 2.67 ERA. Pat Misch is a lefty but has displayed little ability to be a LOOGY. But he does have the ability to pitch multiple innings as a reliever and should not be discounted.

If Emaus makes it, it seems unlikely that Castillo will also be on the team. Justin Turner probably needs Emaus to fall flat and another team to show interest in Castillo to have a shot, especially since he can be sent to the minors without risk.

That leaves the outfield. Ordinarily, Lucas Duda would be an asset as a power lefty bat off the bench, but he is likely better served to get regular ABs in Triple-A. Plus, he looked stretched as a left fielder and the Mets probably want this reserve to be a good defensive outfielder. Jason Pridie could fill the bill, although there is a chance the Mets bring in a veteran who is willing to sign on the cheap. Recently, MLB Trade Rumors indicated Scott Podsednik might be an option here.

My guess is that both Rule 5 guys make the roster and both salary guys are elsewhere. O’Connor gets the other relief spot and Pridie is the final guy for Opening Day. If this is indeed the Opening Day roster, their will be just six players returning from the 2010 Opening Day roster (Niese, Pelfrey, Rodriguez, Wright, Bay and Pagan). There were 11 returnees on the 2010 roster and 13 on the 2009 Opening Day one.

End of season report card for the Mets

For a season that opened up with hope, and which was carried to the All-Star break, the Mets once again flamed out and disappointed their fans and had their second consecutive losing season (79-83).

Change is now on the horizon as GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel were given their pink slips on Monday.

While this may be an exercise in futility, let’s look at the 2010 New York Mets and grade their performances on the field.

Josh Thole: B
With Rod Barajas breaking camp as the starting catcher, not much was expected of Thole this year. But when Thole was called up on June 24, he impressed the franchise with his ability to hit in the clutch and get on base. With the team fading from the playoff picture, Barajas was squeezed out and eventually traded to the Dodgers. Thole was given the starting job all to himself. He hit a few bumps down the stretch but hit .277/.356/.366.

Henry Blanco C+
As a backup catcher, you know what you are going to get from Blanco: good game-calling and sound defense. For the most part, Blanco did his job.

First Base:
Ike Davis: B
Davis arrived in late April and provided a spark with his pop and defense. He struggled in the middle months, before hitting well down the stretch. Davis needs to cut down on his strikeouts, but is a player Met faithful could rally around.

Mike Hessman D-
The power-hitting minor league journeyman was only good for one home run this year. He was lost at the plate en route to a .127 average.

Second Base:
Ruben Tejada: C
If Tejada wasn’t so impressive with his glove, his grade would have been much worse. Tejada, who had a fine September, will have to hit for a higher average if he wants to be the everyday second baseman for the Mets next year.

Luis Castillo: F
Castillo has officially worn out his welcome in New York. His numbers were atrocious (.234/.336/.267), and he has a history of injuries. Don’t expect Castillo back next year.

Jose Reyes: B
Reyes had an up and down season while battling an oblique injury for most of the summer. In stretches, Reyes was unstoppable, but his inconsistency was maddening. It was refreshing to see him finish out the season. Hopefully a new coach can propel his game to new heights.

Third Base:
David Wright: A-
Wright had a renaissance season by rediscovering his power stroke (29 HR’s this year as compared to the 10 he had on 2009 while knocking in more than 100 runs). However, Wright’s propensity for striking out and falling into prolonged cold streaks, put a damper on an otherwise resurgent season.

Angel Pagan: A
Not much was expected of Pagan going into the year, but he far exceeded expectations by hitting .290 with11 HR’s and 69 RBI’s. Pagan was a terror on the base paths, stealing a team-high 37 bases. Pagan was also dynamite in the field and displayed his versatility by playing all outfield positions.

Carlos Beltran: C
Beltran had a rocky beginning coming back from the disabled list in July. He was worthless as the Mets made their second-half swoon, but did show promise that he still does have some life left in his bat as he surged towards the finish. Beltran, who missed the last six days of the season with a minor knee injury, hit .321 in September to go along with five home runs and 13 RBI’s. He’ll likely be back with the Mets next year, but could become trade bait if the team falls out of contention.

Jason Bay: D
Bay was a bust from the word go. You don’t like to see his year end the way it did with a season-ending concussion, but he was not what the Mets paid for. He ended his season with .263 average to go with a pathetic six home runs and 47 RBI’s in 348 AB’s. Hopefully he can recapture his power next year, much the same way Wright did.

Chris Carter: C-
You gotta love Carter’s will and determination, but he is nothing more than a bench player with a limited ceiling.

Lucas Duda: C-
Duda is a prospect who does possess some pop. He struggled mightily once he was called up going 1-33, but did finish strong with four home runs in his last 15 games. His role for next season is not known.

Nick Evans: B-
Evans is another role player who did well for the Mets in the final month, and was the only Met hitter to hit above .300 (albeit in 36 AB’s). Evans will challenge for a roster spot next year.

Jesus Feliciano: C-
Feliciano was yet another Met who was good in stretches, but not one for consistency.

Starting Pitchers:
Johan Santana: B
Prior to Santana’s shoulder problems, he was once again a bright spot in the rotation with 11 wins to go with a 2.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Santana will battle for you every time he starts. Hopefully, he battles back from rehab and gets back to the Mets ASAP.

Mike Pelfrey: B+
Despite hitting a rough spot in the middle of the season in which Pelfrey had a 7.35 ERA in ten starts, which not so accidentally coincided with the Mets summer swoon, he rebounded to have a career year. Pelfrey had 15 wins to go with a respectable 3.66 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. The question going into next year is which Mike Pelfrey will show up?

R.A. Dickey: A+
What superlatives are left to describe Dickey’s phenomenal season? This was a pitcher who was left for dead and all he did was win 11 games to go with a sparkling 2.84 ERA. His knuckleball kept hitters off-balance all season. Can he carry it over to next season?

Jon Niese: B-
Niese had a fine rookie season, but hit a wall going down the stretch. Niese won nine games and had decent peripheral stats (4.20 ERA, 148 strikeouts). Niese will be counted on to step up next season.

Dillon Gee and Pat Misch: INC.
Gee was fantastic down the stretch, going 2-2 in his five starts and throwing a quality start in each game. Gee will battle for a rotation spot next spring. With the way he pitched in September there is no reason he can’t at least contend for the fifth spot.
Misch was also an adequate addition to the staff. In his six starts, Misch got little run support and lost four games while picking up no wins. He’ll have a tough time cracking the rotation next year.

Oliver Perez: F
Is there a worse grade than F? If so, Perez should have it. His ineffectiveness, wildness, and stubbornness to accept a minor league assignment destroyed club morale and spirit. There is no comprehensible way that Perez should be back in any capacity.

John Maine: D-
I don’t know what was worse, Maine’s troublesome injuries or his mis-communication with management about them. His future with the team is cloudy right now.

Francisco Rodriguez: F
This grade is inherent solely on his off-the-field shenanigans. K-Rod embarrassed the club when he assaulted his girlfriend’s father after a game at Citi Field. K-Rod would injure his hand in the fracas and be out for the season

Hisanori Takahashi: B+
Takahashi was a jack of all trades pitching for the Mets. He was admirable as a starter, but was at his best when he pitched out of the pen. Takahashi even closed games, nailing down eight of eight save opportunities.

Bobby Parnell: B-
Prior to being shut down with inflammation in his elbow, Parnell was starting to capitalize on his potential. Parnell used his live jumping fastball to intimidate hitters. As with any young pitcher, he needs to get more consistent.

Pedro Feliciano: B
For the most part, Feliciano did his job. Feliciano is a workhorse that feasts on opposing lefties.

Elmer Dessens: B
Dessens was another pitcher to seemingly come out of nowhere and impress the club with his ability to eat innings and keep opposing teams off the scoreboard. While appearing in 53 games, Dessens had an impressive 2.29 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.

Ryota Igarashi: D-
Igarashi was pitching well in April prior to a groin injury, but once he came back he was never the same. Igarashi finished the season with an unhealthy 7.12 ERA

Manny Acosta: B-
Acosta was solid in his middle-relief role, but was used in a lot of mop-up duty.

Fernando Nieve: C-
Nieve got off to a good start, but was overused and got designated for assignment in late July.

Raul Valdes: C
Valdes was good in stretches as well, but he was another guy who did not pitch much in pressure situations.

Jenrry Mejia: C+
Mejia should have never started in the bullpen this year. He should have been sent down to the minors to fine tune his career as a starter. Mejia was not awful in the pen, and the hope is he can contend for a rotation spot next year.

Where does Evans fit in?

Utility man Nick Evans has endeared himself to the Mets faithful of late. Last night, Evans delivered a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th inning to make the Mets a 1-0 winner over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just six games earlier, Evans hit the game-winning RBI in Washington to secure R.A. Dickey’s 10th win.

Continue reading “Where does Evans fit in?”