By: Stache Staff

Mets Bullpen Power Rankings: June 25, 2012


It’s Still Open

It was another bad week for the Mets bullpen, which as a unit allowed at least one run in four of the five games that they pitched. The only exception was when Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch combined for three scoreless innings to back a solid effort of Johan Santana and complete a shutout of the Orioles on Tuesday night. That followed a one-hitter from R.A. Dickey on Monday night in which the bullpen was not needed.

But in the final four games of the week, the pen was a mess, allowing at least one run in every appearance. In total for the week, the members of the pen amassed a 3.38 ERA by allowing five runs in 13 and 1/3 innings. But take out Tuesday’s work and that number balloons to an ugly 4.35, or nearly a run every other inning.

1. Bobby Parnell
Season: 36 G, 31 IP, 3.19 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 14 R, 11 ER, 33 H, 8 BB, 31 K, 15 Holds, 3 Blown Saves
Last Week: 4 G, 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3 Holds
Previous Rank: 4

Bobby P, or as I’ve taken to calling him on Twitter, BABI P, had easily the best week of any Mets reliever. He pitched four times and allowed just one hit, helping to lock down three of the Mets’ four wins this week. He still gets into situations where he’s throwing instead of pitching, but he appears to have overcome an early June hiccup to assert himself as one of the team’s best out of the pen.

With Frank Francisco landing on the disabled list, with an oblique injury, Bobby gets the next few weeks to prove he can be a closer. It’s a role he’s failed in on multiple occasions in the past, but this appears to be a much improved Parnell from the guy we saw closing in previous seasons.

2. Tim Byrdak
Season: 38 G, 19.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 7 ER, 10 H, 9 BB, 22 K, 13 Holds
Last Week: 1 G, 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 saved chicken
Previous Rank: 3

Byrdak was used only once this week, and it was perhaps the time he wasn’t used that made the most news. With Yankees lefty Robinson Cano leading off the eighth inning of Sunday’s finale, Mets manager Terry Collins opted to stick with Miguel Batista for an extra inning rather than go to the lefty Byrdak to match up. Collins was burned by the decision as Cano took Batista deep for what proved to be the winning run in a 6-5 Mets loss.

Byrdak also made waves during the Subway Series by purchasing a chicken and bringing it into the Mets clubhouse, following Francisco’s comments about the Yankees being “chickens.” After spending two days as the Mets’ unofficial mascot, “Little Jerry Seinfeld” was given to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, where he will now make his home. At least Byrdak took the initiative to do something with his weekend, since Terry Collins didn’t feel like letting him work.

3. Jeremy Hefner
Season (Bullpen Only): 4 G, 10 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 4 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 6 K
Last Week: 1 G, 1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Previous Rank: Rotation

Hefner made his second appearance out of the bullpen in as many weeks on Saturday, pitching a scoreless inning in the 4-3 loss to the Yankees. Hef has been used sparingly since being bumped from the rotation to the pen with the arrival of Chris Young, perhaps because the Mets are keeping him in reserve as a long man.

But there is one reason to believe Hefner can be a more effective one-inning reliever than some of the other the Mets have: he throws strikes. In 25.2 innings this year, Hef has walked just two batters, including just one in four appearances out of the pen. I’d give him a shot as a late inning guy over Batista.

4. Jon Rauch
Season: 33 G, 28.2 IP, 4.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15 R, 14 ER, 28 H, 5 BB, 19 K, 7 Holds, 3 Blown Saves
Last Week: 2 G, 2.1 IP, 1 ER,
Previous Rank: 5

Entering Saturday, Rauch’s last few outings had been very encouraging. He’d thrown three straight scoreless innings, was showing confidence in his fastball and missing bats, accumulating four strikeouts in those three games. But one bad pitch has been his undoing this season and Saturday was no different. His 0-2 Fastball to Eric Chavez was lofted down the left field line just inside the foul pole for a tie-breaking blast. It was surprisingly just the third home run allowed by Rauch this season, but the last two have been particularly backbreaking and continue to test Terry Collins’ trust in the guy once thought to be his setup man.

5. Miguel Batista
Season (Bullpen Only): 18 G, 19. 1 IP, 4.19 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 9 ER, 16 H, 15 BB, 17 K
Last Week: 3 G, 4 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Previous Rank: 1

Perhaps by default because of the overwhelming failures of the Mets bullpen as a unit, Miguel Batista has found himself pitching in high leverage spots the past few weeks. Predictably, the results haven’t been great. After a scoreless eighth in Tuesday’s win over the Orioles, Batista was handed the eighth again on Friday against the Yankees. A two-run homer by Robinson Cano halved a four-run Mets lead, but they ultimately held on to win.

Unfortunately, Terry Collins didn’t learn his lesson from Cano/Batista I and after getting a scoreless seventh out of Miguel on Sunday left him in to face Cano leading off the eighth. Cano/Batista II resulted in an absolute bomb to dead center, the deciding blow in Sunday’s loss. Batista barely belongs on the roster. His use in big spots like that is just asking for trouble.

6. Frank Francisco
Season: 31 G, 29 IP, 4.97 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 17 R, 16 ER, 32 H, 14 BB, 31 K, 18 SV, 3 BS, 1 Hold
Last Week: 2 G, 2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 Saves
Previous Rank: 2

Francisco was placed on the DL Sunday after sending Mets fans into trauma during both of his appearances this week. Francisco held on to preserve both games, but not before facing the go-ahead run in each. He allowed six baserunners over the two games and his tight rope walk is becoming a nightly occurrence. It’s hard to count on a closer who has given up more hits than the number of games he’s appeared in.

Frank’s ineffectiveness was becoming a serious cause for concern again before the DL trip so perhaps a break that will extend through the All-Star break is best for both he and Mets fans.

7. Elvin Ramirez
Season: 5 G, 7 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2.71 WHIP, 7 ER, 11 H, 8 BB, 6 K
Last Week: Did Not Pitch
Previous Rank: 6

Ramirez was demoted this weekend to make room for the return to the roster of Ronny Cedeno. He had not been used since June 15 and had only one appearance this year in which he did not allow a run. He belongs at AAA for the foreseeable future to work on some big-time control issues.

8. Ramon Ramirez
Season: 22 g, 26.1 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 15 R, 14 ER, 29 H, 11 BB, 25 K, 2 Blown Saves, 1 Hold
Last Week (at Buffalo): 1 G, 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB
Previous Rank: DL

Ramirez returns perhaps earlier than the Mets would have hoped to try and buoy the Mets depleted bullpen. He had been on the DL since June 1 after suffering a hamstring injury running in from the bullpen after Johan Santana’s no-hitter. Ramirez made just one rehab appearance in Buffalo and was horrible, but the need for a reliever that was on the 40-man roster took precedence over his need for more rehab time.

About Stache Staff