By: Marc A. Kaplan

Who Should Close for the Mets in 2015?

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For the past decade and a half the Mets have had remarkable instability in the closer’s spot. Try as they might, management hasn’t been able to find a long term solution as to who will pitch in the ninth inning.

Following John Franco’s tenure with the club the Mets have experimented with a variety of closers. Armando Benitez, Braden Looper, Billy Wagner, Luis Ayala, Francisco Rodriguez and Frank Francisco were all given the opportunity to take the job and run with it, but all blew it, similar to their save chances. Going into 2015 however, the Mets have three viable candidates to close out games.

Leading off with the most familiar face, Jenrry Mejia was the Mets closer for the majority of 2014. Mejia transitioned from the rotation to the closer’s spot smoothly posting a 2.72 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP and a 60/21 K/BB ratio over 56 1/3 innings. Most importantly he converted 28 of 31 save opportunities. At present Mejia is the favorite to begin the season as closer and rightfully so, he proved he’s got what it takes, and come on, how do you not love the over the top celebrations?

Prior to Mejia’s emergence, Bobby Parnell was the Mets’ “promising young closer” but after just one inning pitched in 2014 Parnell required Tommy John surgery. Parnell believes the job is his when he returns in mid-April after a strong 2013 where Parnell pitched to a 2.16 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and a 40/12 K/BB ratio. Despite his beliefs Parnell may be best suited as a middle reliever in 2015 where he can limit his innings and not face the pressures and scrutiny of the closer role.

Lastly, and somewhat of a dark horse candidate, Jeurys Familia held the set-up role in Flushing last year where he opened eyes around the league. Over 77 1/3 innings Familia posted a 2.21 ERA to go along with a 1.18 WHIP and 73 strikeouts. While Familia’s demeanor and arsenal of pitches indicate that he could close games, his 2015 role should remain as set-up man. However if Mejia were to go down with an injury it should be Jeurys Familia, not Bobby Parnell, who closes games for the Amazins.

Finding the proper bullpen alignment is key for Terry Collins as mismanaging the pen could prove disastrous for both morale and performance in 2015.

Who Should Close for the Mets in 2015?

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About Marc A. Kaplan

Marc A. Kaplan has been writing for DailyStache since joining the staff in early 2015. He is currently a senior broadcasting major at the State University of New York at Oswego. Contact Marc at KarcMaplan@gmail.com.

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