As the Mets get closer to Opening Day they are going to have to make tough decisions for their roster. The biggest questions for the team are with the bullpen. Right there are five pitchers who look to be locks for Opening Day barring injuries:

Frank Francisco
Ramon Ramirez
Jon Rauch
Bobby Parnell
Manny Acosta

Before Spring Training you could have added Pedro Beato and Tim Byrdak to that list of names, but injuries have delayed the start of their seasons. Beato is likely going to start the season the DL because of his strained rotator cuff. Byrdak had knee surgery to repair his meniscus, but Adam Rubin said that he might only miss the first series of the season. Somehow I find that hard to believe and I’m just assuming Byrdak will miss a few weeks of the season. So with the both of them out, it would open two spots on the Opening Day roster.

Personally I believe who ever performs better in Spring Training should be award these spots. It looks like these two spots are going to come down to five pitchers. So let’s take a look at their numbers this Spring:

1) 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 2 K
2) 6.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 8 K
3) 6.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 1 K
4) 5.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 3 K
5) 7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 12 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, and 3 K

Just looking at the numbers, player number two is easily a lock for the team. He’s given up no runs and an impressive number of strike outs.

For the second spot it gets a little tougher between numbers one, three, and four. Their numbers are all about the same, so it would come down to who has the most options and what they could bring to the team.

Now let’s match those numbers to names:

1) Chris Schwinden (RH)
2) Josh Edgin (LH)
3) Daniel Herrera (LH)
4) Garett Olson (LH)
5) Miguel Batista (RH)

So Edgin was pitcher number two. The problem with him is that the highest level he’s pitched at has been with the St. Lucie Mets. He’s also not on the 40-man roster, which the Mets are having a hard time with regardless of Edgin. In fact, there is only one pitcher out of these five that are on the 40-man roster, and that is Schwinden.

Adam Rubin wrote that Batista is likely to make the Opening Day roster which I really don’t understand. He hasn’t been very affective this Spring, so he hasn’t earned the spot. If they are looking for a long
relief man who can spot start, Schwinden can do that. I understand that Batista is a veteran, but that’s not a good enough reason to make the team over someone who is pitching better. If Batista had been pitching well, I’d have no problem with him making the team. But his 7.04 ERA is hard to choose over guys who have sub 1.50 ERAs.

For me, I’d go with Schwinden and Edgin for Opening Day. I know Edgin doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he’s 25, so he’s not exactly young for a Single-A player.

If the Mets are seriously just going to give Batista the spot in the bullpen it sends a bad message to the players. They tell them that they will competing for a spot on the major league team, but then they just give the spot to the person wit the most major league experience? Then what’s the point of having Edgin still in camp if they aren’t going to give him a shot at making the team because he’s only pitched at Single-A? If you pitch well in Spring Training, a setting where you’re out there to make the team by impressing people and you perform well and don’t make the team, what’s the point of being invited to Spring Training?

4 comments on “The state of the Mets’ bullpen

  • Metsense

    Carasco is signed and is likely headed for the DL. Schwinden should take his spot. What is Schwinden’s future with the Mets? With all the young arms coming up he will not be a starter. Promoting him will not impede his developement because he appears to be near peak. He is 25, Batista is 40+. If I’m trying to catch lightening in a bottle, I would prefer the younger player. When Carasco recovers he will get the spot and you option Chris out and save the money on Batista. Edgin deserves the spot but he does have a future and you may be impeding it. He is my AAA closer this year, no sense in starting the clock on his ML time when it doesn’t matter. That leaves Herrera or Olsen (which means sending someone through waivers) until Byrdak is ready. OR the front office stays to their winter convictions and brings back one of their 40 man picks for the short time Byrdak is missing and no one gets exposed.

    • Brandon Lee

      Well Carasco wasn’t making the team any way. But the thing with Byrdak is confusing because he said he was going to out until May and now he is saying he’s going to start throwing soon. If Byrdak doesn’t start the season on the DL then the Mets only have one spot open really. With that spot they’ll probably give it to a long relief guy, which should be Schwinden. I don’t see a major future with him, but he’s a solid pitcher.

  • rjgarr2

    Everybody expects the Mets to fade away as in years past. This spring training is no different lots injuries and no improvement in pitcher Mike Pelfrey. If the Mets intend to trade this pitcher, I doubt they would get anything viable in return. The Mets have waited for Pelfrey to mature into the pitcher they had hoped for and still see no return expected for only one season (maybe just a fluke, but with emergence of Dickey, Gee, Niese and Santana back from the DL, they should tade for a fifth starter. they other two pitching prospect won’t be ready for awhile. So a trade would be a wise choice.

  • Dan Stack

    The trouble with Spring Training stats is also double edged. As Brian can tell you, Blaine Boyer made the club based on his great spring last year and he was awful.

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