I am never one to compliment Sandy Alderson, but even I have to give credit where credit is due — he has done a great job remaking the Mets bullpen while the season has been going on.
While many people were crying about the Mets inability to upgrade the bullpen during the off-season, I was saying that there was no need; they had enough quality arms in-house. Alderson correctly spent his limited budget on other needs (although he did spend a good chunk of it on the unnecessary Bartolo Colon, but that’s another story).
I predicted that the Opening Day bullpen would be something like this:
I left open the possibility that Alderson would acquire a veteran, which is just what he did (more than one, actually). After Edgin and Black flamed out in Spring Training, they were suddenly needed, resulting in this Opening Day Mets bullpen:
Parnell, of course, went down after the first game and was replaced by Kyle Farnsworth. Eventually the veterans all went away due to poor performance and Jenrry Mejia was installed as the closer. Also, the young arms pitched better in the minors and replaced the old guys, leaving the Mets bullpen looking like this today:
It is pretty incredible that only two relievers (Familia and Torres) have survived from Opening Day. But credit Alderson with not panicking when the veterans faltered. Instead of signing more retreads, he waited until Black and Edgin had refound their stuff in the minors and brought them up. Now they are thriving.
He also did a good job finding Eveland and Carlyle, who have both pitched well. These are the types of signings that usually backfire on Alderson, but these guys have worked out thus far.
So in the end, the Mets bullpen, the team’s Achilles heel for so many years, is now one of their strengths.