By: Stache Staff

How to Fix the Disastrous Mets Bullpen


As of today, the Mets bullpen has earned the honors of possessing the 6th worst ERA in the MLB at 4.22. It is clear as can be that this bullpen has cost the Mets several victories this season. If the pen was even average the Mets may be sitting above .500 right now instead of a game under.

It has been reported that the Mets are internally discussing how they can solve the bullpen disaster. If the front office is interested in winning, they must do less talking and more conducting. I believe that three transactions and some reassigning of roles can go a long way into creating a reliable bullpen. Here is what I would do today before the team takes the field friday against the Phillies:

1) Promote Jacob DeGrom and DFA Jose Valverde- This is the most simple and straightforward of my 3 hypothetical moves. While Valverde had a hot start, he has been a mess since. He simply gives up too many home runs and has too many meltdowns to be reliable late in games, or a valuable asset at all. While DeGrom had a rough outing last night for Las Vegas, he has had an overall solid season. He throws hard, throws plenty of strikes, and induces a plethora of ground balls. Scouts believe he can be very successful in a high leverage relief role, and now is the time to determine if they are correct. If the experiment fails he can always go back to starting in the minors, but I see him as a potential 8th inning guy for the 2014 Mets.

2) Promote Joel Carreno and DFA Daisuke Matsuzaka- At first glance this might seem crazy since Dice-K is sitting at a 3.48 ERA through 10.1 innings pitched. However, there are 2 major problems with Dice-K in his current role. First, he is walking almost 7 batters per 9 innings, which is way too much. Second, he takes forever to warm up, almost to the point where Terry must decide he is using him before the need for a reliever is even present. The best relievers throw strikes and warm up quickly. If I were the Mets I would ask Dice-K to go to AAA for a few weeks to learn how to be a relief pitcher, since he is clearly not comfortable in the role right now. I think he would be up to the challenge and accept the assignment. In the meantime while Dice-K is learning in Vegas, the Mets can call up Joel Carreno to fill in. Carreno has decent stats in a hitter friendly park at AAA, so it is worth a shot to see if he can stick. I thought long and hard about promoting Vic Black in my scenario, but he also needs to learn to throw more strikes before he is deserving of a call up.

3) Promote Rafael Montero, Send Jeurys Familia to AAA, Make Jenrry Mejia the closer- This is the most complex and probably the most controversial of the 3 moves I would make today. First, it must be noted that Mejia is on a strict innings limit this season. And, he has been downright nasty the first time through the order, but progressively gets worse as the game moves on into the later innings. Mejia’s stuff is good enough to pitch in the late innings, and transitioning to the bullpen would enable him to stay with the team all season instead of having to be shut down when he reaches his innings limit. Yes Mejia has an injury history, but I have always thought he could be a dominant closer if given the chance. I also thought about leaving Mejia in his role and sending Rafael Montero to the pen, but I believe that Montero is much better suited as a starter, as he is more crafty and could provide more distance than Mejia. Plus, Montero has proven in the highest levels of the minors that he can be a successful starter. While Jeurys Familia pitched a solid inning on Wednesday, he happens to be the odd man out in this situation. I love his potential, but he needs to work on his strike throwing and he is better suited doing that at the AAA level.

Overall, this would leave Gee, Niese, Wheeler, Colon and Montero as the starting rotation with Mejia as the closer, Farnsworth back to the setup man role, with Rice, Torres, Germen, Carreno, and DeGrom rounding out the bullpen. While this may seem a little out of the box, I strongly believe that this is the best temporary alignment to try and win games in the short term. This leaves Familia, Vic Black and Matsuzaka in Vegas to work on their control. They would be next in line for call ups should someone falter. In addition, I would not consider Noah Syndergaard as a reliever in any scenario as I see his short and long term future as a top of the rotation starter.

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