Mets 2014 Bullpen Outlook

Posted: November 25, 2013 in News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By Steven Inman

Photo By NY Daily News

Photo By NY Daily News

The BrokeMets Facebook page got a interesting question today from regarding next year’s bullpen.

What’s the bullpen supposed to look like next season? Is Parnell the definitive option at closer?

That question is from Rob and it is a very good question as the bullpen has been overlooked so far early on this offseason.

The Mets haven’t had a league average bullpen since the 2007 season but it looks like that could change soon. The Mets are developing some nice young arms and they aren’t all going to be starting pitchers.

Going into the 2013 season the Mets bullpen was entirely up in the air and after a lot of reshuffling, the Mets look a lot more comfortable with some of the arms they will have next year out of their pen.

It all starts with Bobby Parnell who had a strong season as the teams closer before undergoing a neck injury. The injury is more serious than originally thought as Terry Collins said in September that Parnell has already lost 30 pounds. Collins believes Parnell should be ready to go in Spring Training and has two more years under team control through arbitration. If Parnell is healthy after his neck surgery, he will be the closer next year.

Next the Mets have Vic Black and Gonzalez Germen. Both of these guys received a few save opportunities in September with no Parnell around. This could prepare them for high leverage roles next season to build a bridge to Parnell. Germen was solid in his rookie season for the Mets and is likely to be apart of the Mets 2014 bullpen.

Black, 25, came over in a trade from Pittsburgh. He has very good stuff and if he can limit the walks, he should a fine set-up man. Black will be the Mets closer should Parnell not be ready to go.  Black was a very good get for Sandy Alderson.

Black has a good arm and is getting over the control issues that have plagued him in the past. He looks ready to contribute.

Carlos Torres has been one of the better minor league free agent signings in Baseball this season

Next you have the two lefties Scott Rice and Josh Edgin both who are under team control next season at the league minimum. Rice was a fantastic find as a 31 year old rookie and Edgin looked like he was just figuring it out before braking a rib in a season ending injury.

Last but certainly not least is Carlos Torres who was fantastic as a spot starter and even better as a short reliever. Torres has a 2.77 ERA in 55 innings for the Mets in ’13. He has been great and seems to have the type of rubber arm that every good team seems to have. He too will be under Mets control next season.

The Mets now have six guys they could in theory pencil in to spots in the 2014 bullpen. At this time last year they had one and that was Parnell. It looks clear now that the Mets are finding some solid arms as Sandy Alderson continues to sculpt this team.

Jeurys Familia appears healthy now and is likely to win a spot in the bullpen with a decent spring training,

The Mets will look externally for another arm to bridge the gap to Parnell now that LaTroy Hawkins has left to join the Rockies. Options include relievers like Edward Mujica, Jessie Crain and Fernando Rodney. There just isn’t enough closer jobs available so some of these guys might have to settle for an 8th inning job. With questions about Parnell a spot in the Mets bullpen could appeal to these guys who are looking for a bigger payday in a year or so.

If you want to leave a question for a future post, write it on the BrokeMets facebook page. I will turn any question into a post.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – Despite the performance of the Mets BP in 2013 they seem to have a lot of guys worth keeping. I know Rice was a work horse last season but the question now is can he continue to pitch in as many appearances as he did in 2013 or will be soon go the way of Jose Feliciano – overworked. Rice is also around or past 30. Josh Edgin was diaappointing. He needs better command. Parnell is still a question mark untill we see how he has healed. Vic Black is good and needs to get even better. I like Germen and would like him to pitch better as well. The same goes for Familia who I think has closer stuff – mid to upper 90s. Torres should remain the long man and spot starter when needed. However, BPs usually don’t stay the same except for quality proven set up men and closers. Guys that can consistently hold or close on leads and cross over to consistently get both righties and lefties out. Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      I completely agree Mike I think Edgin and Familia can be in for big years. The best bullpens seem to mask a lot of offensive problems throughout the regular season more often than not. The key to the pen is going to be Sandy adding another guy with closer experience and or if Vic Black can emerge as a go to guy in the pen. Should be interesting to see. -Steve

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