Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Current Mets Fit Into 2010: Relievers

Last day of this segment: the bullpen.

Francisco Rodriguez - K-Rod hasn't really been the same since Luis Castillo single-handedly blew his save against the Yankees. Even so, he has been far from the dominant, reliable closer for whom Omar paid so much. Even worse, if Frankie can reach 2 very easily attainable incentives over the next 2 seasons, his 2012 option for $17.5 million (!) will vest. That's an ungodly amount of money. That's the kind of check you give to an ace pitcher or stud outfielder, not a reliever with spotty control (his 4.99 BB/9 is 6th worst among NL relievers with 50+ IP) and a history of injuries. It will sadly be in the Mets best interest for him to miss an entire season. Frankie will be the Mets closer next year without a doubt, but count me among the fans disgruntled about his ridiculous contract.

Pedro Feliciano - Pedro continues to be one of the best lefty specialists in the league, with a career .215 BAA versus lefties. He has been hurt by homers this year, but he will almost certainly be a valuable asset in the NL East as long as his exposure to righty hitters is limited. He is also incredibly reliable, pitching 78 games in 2007, 84 in 2008, and currently 74 in 2009. Pedro is arbitration eligible this year but should still command a very reasonable salary. The Mets would be foolish to let him go.

Sean Green - Inconsistent garbage who will be 31 next season. He came in as the replacement for Aaron Heilman, so in that respect he has done an excellent job. I don't know which way the Mets will go with Green, but I can't think of a reason to keep him. Middling relievers with career 4.51 ERAs are a dime a dozen, and this one reminds me too much of Heilman for me to not boo when he enters the game. When I'm watching at home. On my computer. The box score, not the live game.

Brian Stokes - Looked like he could turn the corner after a stellar July, but he's been average or worse in every other month. 2008 looks like an aberration for Stokes, as his 2009 numbers are more in line with his career stats. He possesses a plus fastball and a decent breaking ball, but he doesnt miss enough bats for a guy who walks 4.9 per 9 (see: Carlos Marmol, who walks an astounding 8.07 per 9, but also K's 11.13 per 9 and has given up just 1 homer). Stokes turned 30 a few days ago, and it's unlikely he'll be more than an average reliever. Bring him back, but lower your expectations.

J.J. Putz - There really isn't much to go on to make this decision. His $8.6 million club option for 2010 is entirely too much for a setup man, and he clearly will not be closing in New York. The Mets could pick up the option and attempt to trade him to a team in need of a closer, but that's a very risky move, as most teams are not stupid enough to give relievers that much money. My best guess is that Putz will be allowed to walk, and I can't say I'll shed a tear for him.

Elmer Dessens - Here's a short list of MLB pitchers who could approximate Elmer Dessens' skill set: all of them. Don't waste time and money on a 38 year old mop-up guy.

Lance Broadway - Hopefully he'll be back in AAA next year where he belongs. The Castro trade looks like a bigger ripoff every day.

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