Time To Play Mets Wheel of Bullpen Fortune

 

While Mets fandom awaits a decision on whether Michael Bourn will be patrolling centerfield of Citi Field, leading off and becoming the catalyst for the Mets offense, we also await the official announcement of Brandon Lyon becoming a Met and another contestant on Wheel of Mets Bullpen.

Counting Lyons, I’m looking at 11 candidates for 6 or maybe 7 spots in the Mets pen, a bullpen that I feel was the biggest reason for the second half collapse the Mets found them in last season. When you have a relief core that allows close to 32 % of inherited runners to touch home plate and also finds themselves in 55 save opportunities and blowing 19 of those precious assignments, will break the spirit of even the most strong willed teams so when you have a team like the Mets that doesn’t exactly ooze self-esteem and pluck, the ineffective pen was more a kick in the gut than uplifting last season. Sandy Alderson realizes this as well and has gone out this offseason to assemble relievers to come to Port St. Lonesome to engage in a big time completion to come North and become a strength for the Mets instead of last year’s failure.

Building a bullpen can be a bit of a crapshoot and last year one of the players Alderson went out on a limb on was closer Frank Francisco, signing the volatile reliever for 2yrs/$12mil, a signing I’m sure the Mets GM would love to take back . Between nagging injuries and ineffectiveness it was a lost season for Francisco. Although Francisco did save 23 games in 26 opportunities, when he entered games with runners on base his percentage of inherited runners left on base was a woeful 67.2 % and he’d shoot himself in the foot many time with walks as well.

With the imminent signing of Brandon Lyons, the back end of the Mets pen should be improved over last year (in the words of Sandy Alderson when asked about whether the pen will be better in 2013 said “how could it be worse?”)  And what we will see in the camp is a good old fashion open completion for not just bullpen spots but for the very important back end of the pen spots.  So looking at the very early morning line let’s see who could or should emerge as the core of the Mets bullpen in 2013.

The guys I look for to make the move to be the 7th inning, 8th inning and closer are Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Josh Edgin, and Scott Atchison.  All five look to be Mets for 2013 but who of these 5 will step up to grab the closers job? I don’t see Bobby Parnell getting the job as he is much more effective in innings 6 thru 8 and last year he started to lose a little bit of velocity on his fastball and he has tried to make his curve to be more effective. Edgin has been on a fast track to the big leagues on the strength of using a hard fastball and effective slider that helped the stout lefty rack up K’s at a 10.53 per 9 IP.  Scott Atchinson may be the find of the off season. He was the one bright spot in the train wreck that was the 2012 Boston Red Sox. Atchinson relies on a solid cutter that he has under great command and last season he stranded 85 % of the runners on base that he inherited which is why I can’t wait to see him pitch this spring. Brandon Lyon could be the guy that takes on Frank Frank for the coveted closers role. The Mets will be banking on getting Lyon back to his effective D’Backs and Tigers days to solidify the back end of the pen and hope that the blown saves and late inning bullpen meltdowns are a thing of the past.

Jureys Familia and Jenry Mejia are two wildcards in the bullpen completion. Should either or both work as relievers or starters? There are varied opinions on the direction of both pitchers and it could boil down to how each are used this spring and if either pitchers shows more at one spot than the other. I could see Familia sticking as reliever more than Mejia who has a starter’s mentality and is also at a point in his career that the Mets love to find pitchers at, second year after Tommy John surgery.

LaTroy Hawkins comes to camp as a guy whose has seen a lot of big league baseball and could be more of an asset as a sounding board for the younger relievers that his work on the mound. Hawkins looks to be a 6th inning guy or a guy to give a break to an overused reliever that is if it makes the team.

It’s Robert Carson’ job to lose as the LOOGY especially with Pedro Feliciano back from rotator cuff surgery (2nd year after surgery seems to be the Mets pattern of obtaining pitching) and Tim Byrdak back in a minor league deal off of last season’s shoulder surgery.

So if I had to put out an early projection of the Mets bullpen I’d rank thusly:

CL Francisco/Lyon

SU Parnell

SU Edgin

SU Atchison

RP Carson

RP Familia/Hawkins

Whoever is not named closer moves to set up role and to tell you the truth; the Mets have the makings of a pretty decent bullpen. Hopefully between Terry Collins, Dan Warthen and Ricky Bones can work this pen correctly unlike last season when there was a communication breakdown between the relievers and the Manager and Pitching Coach. That’s a post for another day.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

MANNY ACOSTA, COM’ON DOWN………….

You can never be too skinny, too rich or have too many arms in the bullpen:

METS SELECT THE CONTRACT OF RHP MANNY ACOSTA FROM BUFFALO

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., June 3, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced the team has selected the contract of righthanded pitcher Manny Acosta from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League.  Acosta will wear uniform #36 and will be available for tonight’s game vs. Atlanta.  After yesterday’s game, the Mets optioned lefthanded pitcher Mike O’Connor to Buffalo.  In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets transferred righthanded pitcher Chris Young to the 60-Day Disabled List.

 

Acosta, 30, was 1-0 with four saves and a 1.77 ERA (four earned runs/20.1 innings) in 20 games with Buffalo this season.  He allowed 13 hits, issued 17 walks, recorded 27 strikeouts and held opponents to a .186 batting average against.  The righthander had allowed one run over his last 13 appearances (0.6384 ERA), spanning 14.1 innings.

 

Acosta went 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA (13 earned runs/39.2 innings) in 41 games for the Mets in 2010.  He allowed 30 hits, issued 18 walks and struck out 42 batters.  The 6-4, 213-pounder went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA (four earned runs/26.0 innings) against National League East opponents last year.

 

O’Connor was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA (two earned runs/6.2 innings) in nine appearances for New York this season.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

OLLIE PEREZ, THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN!

Yesterday I pulled a Mike Francesa as I was “In da cawh” listening to Howie and Wayne doing the Mets game on radio. I don’t listen to the Mets radio team very much as I’m either glued to the TV or at the game (I’m not one to listen to the game when I’m there I never understood that as everything you need to know is right in front of you) so I tend to forget how much Howie is one of us. Gary Cohen, of course is one of us as well and he sometime shows his frustration during a telecast or two but Howie was beside himself watching Ollie Perez throw a baseball yesterday (I refuse to call what he did pitching)

It was very cold and very windy yesterday and Howie and Wayne made a point to let us know how much the elements plus Perez’ inability to throw a strike, was putting the Mets defense in an uncomfortable spot. Howie painted a picture of infielders walking around the dirt between pitches to keep warm and to kill the boredom of long counts and walks, and of Ike Davis sticking both hands under his arms to stay warm. Both announcers made it known that the were fed up watching and detailing the play by play of another start of suckitude by Perez. From the derisive cheers when an actual strike was tossed by OP, I’d say the paying customers felt the same way. So what to do with Ollie Perez.

Well, forget about The Skill Sets releasing OP, not with a $12 mil salary for this season and (GULP!) next and there is no one in the baseball world stupid enough to take on that contract since the only dumb ass that would pay Perez that kind of money is already his employer. The easiest move is to replace OP with either Hisanori Takahashi or Raul Valdes in the rotation and move OP to the pen. The best move would be to just put Perez on waivers, let him go unclaimed and then assign him to Buffalo. That move would work if we knew when Ryota Igarhashi is coming back from a hammy strain but there’s been no info on his progress.

Whatever way it’s handled, nothing with Perez falls in the Mets favor. Management talks about “it’s all about winning” well, if that’s the case prove it, put Perez on waivers, when he clears, assign him to Buffalo. It’s the only way, Perez just sucks the life out of the team, the fans and the announcers. He has GOT TO GO!!!!!!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

TONIGHT AT 10PM ET THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN ON BLOGTALK RADIO

Go to hit the road this morning for work as I have a training class to attended so I just want to send out a reminder that tonight at 10PM ET I’ll be hosting THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO.

My guests will be Dave Payne and Aviv Blasbalg of Sox vs. Pinstripes. Dave is the Red Sox fan/writer and Aviv the Highlander fan/writer. We’ll look at the season so far for both teams and the race in the AL East and look ahead to the weekend series at Fenway Park between the two teams.

As always, if you can’t join us live you can listen later from our show page on BLOG TALK RADIO or right here at Kranepool Society (click on the widget on the lower left side bar)

Quick hits:

That was one tough game to watch last night between no one in the ball park (announced attendance was 14,350. They must have counted 350 in the seats and 14,000 driving by the ball park), Ollie with his walks and the offense stagnant, by 9PM I bailed not just because the game was dragging but it was time for 24. Just for one day, I want to be like Jack Bauer, I mean what could be better than to grab someone you can’t stand by the neck and say “Do you know who I am” and have them shit themselves.

Big Pelf went for an MRI because he felt tightness in his shoulder.   The MRI came out fine and Pelf said nothing to worry about. I guess when he books a flight to Birmingham, then I’ll panic.

First it was booing Santa Claus, then it was cheering as Michael Irvin was laid out unconscious on the field, then it was a jail at the Vet, then it was fans vomiting on children and now cops using stun guns on fans. Welcome to Philadelphia America’s Most Uncivilized City.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NOT EXACTLY A MAINE MAN

We are told not to take the stats from spring training too seriously especially early, but the quotes coming from John Maine after his cameo appearance yesterday left me a bit unsettled.

Because of the rain the last couple of days in Florida, the Mets have tried to rearrange the pitching assignments to make sure every one gets in their work. Maine came into yesterday’s game after Johan Santana pitched four superb innings, starting the fifth inning. He got two quick outs then the roof caved in as he gave up a couple of walks and a couple of doubles and next thing you know he had to be taken out of the game without completing the inning. Now if it were just that, I’d say he was working on different pitchers and looks like those pitches need some fine tuning, but it was Maine’ statements after the game that have me concerned.

 “I felt good,” Maine said. “It’s just one of those days. My shoulder and arm feel fine. Coming in like that – off my routine – I just wasn’t at all prepared. It was different. I didn’t get the job done. …I just wasn’t kind of that into it and just wasn’t that comfortable.”

 

So physically Maine claims to be fine but mentally he’s all fucked up for the lack of a better term, if there were ever a poor choice of words, “I just wasn’t kind of into it and just wasn’t comfortable” that quote would be it. If I’m the manager or GM, I would have left a call to Mr. Maine to be at the complex at 7AM this morning to explain that quote.

Maine’ biggest problem he said he’s used to starting a game and getting ready to make the game his, that’s fine but this is an exhibition game, a practice game, the one time during the year where the numbers on the scoreboard mean nothing plus it wasn’t like Maine was coming into the game with the bases loaded and no outs, he was starting the fifth inning. With all that Maine was still not fit for duty:

“I am a creature of habit,” Maine said. “I have a certain routine. I was out of sync, off my routine. I just wasn’t prepared. I didn’t get the job done. It’s the whole aspect of throwing before the game, sitting down and doing this.”

The players and management of this team have more excuses than Eric Massa, in fact I’m wondering if someone in the Mets clubhouse tickled Jose Reyes to the point his Thyroid nearly exploded.

Maine makes his next stat on Saturday and if he’s not into that start, maybe management would be into trading for Andy Sonnerstine who looks to be on the trade market. 

Management can spin their confidence about the starting rotation in public all they want but I’m sure behind closed door the brain trust feels their desperately need another solid starter and are working the phone lines to feel out the offers. Give it a day or two but rumors will be flowing like the weekends  rain off your gutters, that the Mets are looking for pitching, especially if Maine has another performances like yesterday .

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

LOOK AT LIKE THIS OMIR, IT DOESN’T SNOW THAT MUCH IN BUFFALO IN APRIL

Poor Omir Santos, the guy shows up early to camp looks around at the large stable of catchers the Mets accumulated over the winter and thinks to himself  “none of those guys have anything on me”  Well sorry to burst your bubble Senior Santos but the only squating behind the plate you’re going to be doing is in the International League backing up Josh Thole.

The Mets reach a deal with Rod Barajas for a base of $1mil with incentives that could double his contract.  Barajas and Henry Blanco are now the top battery mates for Mets pitchers and both are a huge upgrade defensively from last years broken down model of Brian Schneider, ShrekNinja Turtle and Santos.

Remember at the end of the season J-Man and Old School Warthen put alot of the blame of the inability of the Mets pitchers to cut down on walks and not hit their spots consistently on the catching corp.

Give the Mets some love here as the got Barajas for their price and upgraded the catching position as well

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

BASEBALL LIKE IT OUGHTA BE

A rough morning. Had a 9AM game and one of my big strong arm guys pitching and he couldn’t find home plate with a map, compass and a guide dog. After two innings we are down 8-0 and I’m ready to blow a fucking gasket, walks and errors that’s all I see in my sleep lately. After the 60 th pitch I’d seen enough and I bring in a kid to pitch that while not throwing hard, throws strikes and he holds the fort as we nibble back to 8-4 until he runs out of gas. I go to option three which on this team is the equivalent of Manny Acta going to his pen and lo and behold after seven walks, three errors and leaving about eight runners on base the score after 6 innings is 13-6.

There was another game to be played on the field after ours and the teams were milling around waiting for our game to end. The coach of one of the teams was a guy I’ve known for a few years so I told “Don’t worry Jim we’ll be quick” and we both laughed. What are you gonna do cry? First kid up grounds out. Next kid walks. Next one hits a bloop over short. Next batter drills one to the gap in left center-a bloop and a blast-and it’s 13-8. Next batter walks then another walk and a strike out and a hit batsman. New pitcher and it’s 13-9 with two out. First pitch to the batter a hit down the left field line and holy shit it’s 13-11 with two out and then a infield hit and it’s 13-12 with two out. Now I’d love to say the next batter drove in two more runs but that only happens in the movies. The next kid K’d and we lost 13-12 but from the roar of the crowd and the kids waiting to play you would have thought we won a championship.

When the game ended we took the kids over to the snack stand which was the plan win or lose to buy them lunch. As we come off the field, the people at the complex were clapping and patting the kids on the back which was great because they really deserved to for not giving up and fighting back. But the best part of it was when one of the kids, the pitcher I took out after two innings said “We never give up because the coaches never give up on us”

And that right there is worth all the vacation days I’ve used and all the overtime I’ve given up and all the food, drinks, and baseballs I’ve bought and all the time I’ve put into practicing with these kids. Johan Santana, Alex Rodriguez Carlos Beltran they are all making a ton of money in baseball more than me but I guarantee they are not loving baseball more than I am.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

WE’RE #1 FOR NOW!!!!

First and foremost HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

Look who is in first place in the NL East.

Welcome back Brian Stokes

My team lost a game yesterday where my two hardest throwing pitchers walked 15 (yes fifteen) batters. So back to pitching school we go. I’v tried doing wide stance drills, sifting their weight from back to front, keeping the front leg up (standing tall) for a three count then releasing the ball, and I’ve pleaded for them to keep their head up and focus on the target (set up by catcher) if anyone has any other drills or ideas I am open to any and all sugestions (tell me in the comments or by e mail at SINYMETS@aol.com  because if I go through another game of 15 walks by my pitchers they will take me out of the dugout in a straight jacket.

My blood test is back from the day I posted about dealing the two Carlos’ and it came back possitive for stupidity.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.