The View From My Couch: Bullpen Edition

Lying on a  couch

Sure, it doesn’t count, but baseball is back on my TV. One thing that we know needs to be sorted out before Opening Day is the bullpen. Now that I have had a glimpse of the team, I had some early random thoughts on the 2014 edition.

*It was very nice to see Bobby Parnell on the mound getting outs. It is hard to imagine this bullpen if he is not ready to go on Opening Day.

*I am not convinced that Vic Black is ready for setup work. Anything Black did in September was a tiny sample size in meaningless baseball. I’m happy we picked up his live arm as part of the Byrd trade but that doesn’t mean he is ready for late inning appearances yet. The idea with pitchers like Black and Familia is to bring them along over time, it is a long season and facing major league hitters is a big adjustment. Hopefully Valverde can be this years Hawkins, we could use another effective pitcher with high stress experience. Yesterday’s outing by Jose, obviously, was more a high stress experience for me.

*The other day I saw free agent pickup Joel Carreno strike out the side. It was early, and it was the Marlins, but I want to see more.

*Before spring training began I held out hope that Cory Mazzoni could be an April bullpen candidate. Nothing has happened to change my mind, except for the location.


Mazzoni is not ready for New York, and I don’t see a spot in the Las Vegas starting rotation either.

*Josh Edgin was throwing 88 miles per hour, getting hit hard, and has already been sent to minor league camp. Edgin was always a one trick pony, with nothing to augment his fastball. At 88 miles per hour that makes him a no trick pony. If the fastball does not come back, well, you know what they do to sick horses, right?

Shoot horse cartoon

*With Edgin banished, Scott Rice is basically guaranteed a roster spot. And a ton of work.

*The other lefty still standing in major league camp, John Lannan, is now going to get a look in relief. I like Lannan a lot in a long relief role, but teams do not seem to ever employ pitchers that way these days. I’ve never envisioned him as a short reliever but he is under contract and we could use the help. We don’t need him as a starter, so it seems like a worthwhile experiment.

Update: 3/12/14

I just saw more of Carreno, quite enough. Next.

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  1. I agree with all of this (from my seat in a Michigan hotel during a snowstorm). Great point about Black & Familia, both of whom have serious control issues. Let’s develop ‘em. Torres is a key, in that I hope he can do the job. I’ve never seen anything in Josh Edgin. I’ve read the raves and high hopes for more than a year now and never understood a word of it. Except: He was once a great wrestler? I see Rice as the overused LOOGY, whereas Lannan is savvy enough to face RH hitters. Scott Rice should never, ever, ever face a RH hitter. Ever. Never. Ever! Read the stat sheets, Terry!

    We need to discuss Mejia at some point. The Mets can’t continue to yank this young talent around. Make a choice, stick with it. Not for Jenrry’s sake, but for the team’s. It’s imperative to keep him healthy and find a role for him that helps the Major League team. The clock is ticking.

  2. Eraff says:

    There are so many issues about the supposed pitching depth…parking them at Vegas, Trading for other positions…… the reality is that 2 or three of the “depth” guys will probably be needed as starters very quickly…health, performance issues. This circles me back to “sign Drew” and keep you talent pool intact.

    As for Vegas— am I alone in my distress that Vegas is the place where your pitchers are going for final finishing? Inflated PCL batting results( a Defacto JUICED BALL League), and the fact that there’s not enough atmosphere there to throw a curveball.

    • Are you alone? Why would you say that? We’ve posted on it many times — you’ve read the pieces here — and others have commented. No, you are not alone. Vegas sucks for many reasons. We’ve been clear on that.

    • I can only buy into fear of Vegas and the PCL just so much. Montero pitched very well there last year. Wheeler did not, because Wheeler has a fundamental strike throwing issue for all his talent.

      As for trading pitching depth, if they get a young shortstop, and I am particularly more fond of getting a guy who is either going to be a very good bat and solid glove or great glove and serviceable bat.

      It seems to be that favors Gregerious, over Ownings (who has alarming minor league K rates) and Franklin who is apparently not fleet feet.

      • Eraff says:


        I believe Vegas is tougher on a pitcher with a strong Fastball/Curveball mix/reliance. Montero seems mainly focused on Location and late movement. Agree that good pitchers pitch better than others in EVERY environment. I’m a bit concerned that a guy who might be shuttled (Degrom?) would need to pitch with a different mix in Vegas versus Citi.

        I’m sure it’s a combination of be overwrought on my part and my Negative outlook on a Management that places it’s upper level team 2000 miles away.

        • one could argue that the Mets gain an advantage with pitchers having to work on precision and perhaps adding a strong changeup to their game.

          However, I don’t believe they would organizationally do that, so…

          Your larger point is too correct! The freaking team is stationed in a local based on the Mets bungling relationships with their host cities for years.

          I challenge anyone to find me a team who has shuttled through 4 cities in 8 years!!!

          Norfolk, New Orleans, Buffalo and Vegas.

          Though there is a poetic karmic ironic justice that the Wilpons and Uncle Saul find themselves in Vegas.

  3. Eraff says:

    I can’t say it’s good to know that there is agreement and awareness of the Vegas Problem… the problem remains. I especially think it causes a problem for guys who may “shuttle” in and out for spot starts/small samples…too much “messing” with feel and mix because of that environment.


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