Mets Bullpen for 2012

In about the course of an hour on Tuesday the Mets completely remade their bullpen. So who is in and who is out for 2012? Here are the definites:

Frank Francisco
Jon Rauch
Ramon Ramirez
Tim Byrdak

That leaves three spots for the holdovers:
D.J. Carrasco
Manny Acosta
Pedro Beato
Daniel Herrera
Josh Stinson
Bobby Parnell

Carrasco is only on the list because he is under contract, but he proved to be absolutely useless in 2011 and likely will spend the year in Buffalo.

Acosta looked good and could win a spot.

Pedro Beato struggled at times last season and probably would have been better served spending some time in the minors, but he was a Rule 5 guy and could not be sent down. Unless he pitches lights-out in spring training, my guess is that he will be sent down for some seasoning and re-emerge sometime during the summer.

Herrera also looked good after coming over for K-Rod. He has a leg up on the competition because he is a lefty. I predict he’ll make the team.

Stinson got off to a strong start but then struggled. He could win a spot if he pitches well in the spring, but will likely start the year in Buffalo.

Which brings us to Parnell (below). The closer’s job was his to lose after Jason Isringhausen got his 300th save, and he did indeed lose the job. Sure he throws 100 mph, but it is as straight as George Clooney. Even an average major league hitter can catch up to a 100 mph fastball if it has no movement.

bobby

Perhaps it is time to trade Parnell. The two-year contract for Francisco is evidence that the Mets don’t think Parnell will ever be a closer, at least not for the next two seasons. He’s not even the eighth inning guy anymore. If they can trade him and get a “positional starter” as was reported this week, then they should do it. If not, Parnell will almost definitely be part of the bullpen in 2012.

I find it interesting that Sandy Alderson spent so much on the bullpen — $6 million for Francisco, $3.5 million for Rauch and probably $2 million for Ramirez. For a team with a limited budget, it was kind of surprising, especially the $3.5 million for the eighth inning. Certainly the bullpen needed help, but so does the rotation and catcher position.

By his own admission Alderson does not have much more money to spend. Perhaps he knows the weak starting rotation will require a strong bullpen, so he put his money there. Interesting strategy.


3 thoughts on “Mets Bullpen for 2012

  • December 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm
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    Based on his numbers (2.62 ERA, 2.33 RE24 Avg, 1.139 WHIP) you could probably convert Ramon Ramirez to a closer. Sure, being in the lower 90s range would make him a bit unorthodox and his IP (68+) capability would be wasted but the fact is that he would get people out.

    (note – RE24 average is an RE24 calc that compares with ERA and accounts for inherited runners vs just earned runners)

    By contrast, Parnell had an ERA of 3.64 and an R2A of 4.16 last year. Even in a good year (2010) he was at 2.83/2.79.

    For more on the RE24 Avg calculation check out this link:
    natsnoodles.com/2011/09/25/my-new-favorite-stat/

    (resubmitted and corrected)

  • December 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm
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    I too, was surprised at first that Sandy spent so much on the 8th and 9th innings. I think he did it because he felt pressured to make some really goos signings in the wake of Reyes departure, and these were among the best available and they were willing to sign now. He would have had to spend much more for a Madson or a K-Rod, and Francisco was aboout the best left at his level. Same goes for Rauch.

    I agree that it is time to get what we can for Parnell. If you look at his numbers for last year, they stack up fairly well – 3.64 ERA, 9.7 K/9 although his WHIP and BB rate were a bit offsetting. But he apparently generated some interest, and even if we can’t get a positional starter, he should bring back some decent prospects or reserves.

    Re the makeup of the pen in 2012, I ageree with your 4 definites and Acosta. However, I’m not sure Herrera is the answer. I’d love to see Sandy sign Tom Gorzelanny if he is non-tendered by the Nats. Or maybe George Sherrill. Neither would be that costly. For the final spot, I think Chris Schwinden would be a better bet than Stinson. Although primarily a starter in the minors, I don’t think he can make the rotation ant time soon, and would be a fine long man out of the pen. So it’s:

    Francisco, Rauch, Rodriguez, Acosta, Schwinden,Byrdak, and Gorzelanny. That would be a great pen.

  • December 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm
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    The Mets should ask the Reds about trading Parnell for Ryan Hanigan. They have two elite catching prospects in Yasmani Grandal and Devin Mesoraco, so they could view the 31 year old to be expendable.

    Overall, I’m glad the Mets focused their limited Wilponese funds on the bullpen. I hope they can still get a Ramon Castro-type catcher if they can’t trade for one, but there isn’t much to do with the rotation aside from minor league deals. Almost all of the pitchers stink.

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