From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS - Building A Better Bullpen.
The bad news - Bobby Parnell blew Wednesday's Grapefruit League game. The good news - only 3,908 fans saw it. Of course that's unfair to say. But it's spring training for fans too. I'm just trying to get in shape - like Sandy's bullpen remix. Compared to last year's unit, and despite Frank Francisco's prolonged elbow issue, you can't help but feel a little better about this year's group of bullpen candidates. Despite taking a cheap shot at Parnell, Wednesday was his first hiccup in Grapefruit League action. Prior to surrendering four runs (three earned) against the Nats, Bobby hadn't allowed an earned run in six innings. Until Frank Francisco is game ready, Bobby Parnell is still tentatively scheduled to start the season as the Mets closer.
From the right side, Brandon Lyon and Scott Atchison have combined to pitch nine innings. They've allowed five hits and three earned runs. Together they have issued one walk and struck out five.
Corey Mazzoni is certainly doing enough to earn a seat on the bus trip back north. But will the Mets allow the clock on this twenty-three year old to start ticking so soon? Or will the club delay his MLB debut till late April or beyond, as the rules for service time change? Although he escaped the first round of 40-man roster cuts, odds are Corey starts the season in Las Vegas. In 2012, Mazzoni pitched in twelve games at St. Lucie, then made fourteen appearances at Binghamton. So far, Corey has participated in four Grapefruit games, compiling seven strikeouts in eight innings pitched.
In truth, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia remain as unfamiliar to us as they were two years ago, when we were hyping them as the future. At least with Familia, we are starting to get a regular view. He has tossed six innings so far, allowing three hits, and striking out four. Jenrry Mejia, however, has been limited to two innings so far. Visa issues caused him to arrive late to camp. Jenrry then missed time when he was discovered to have a hyper-active thyroid gland. He has since been cleared to resume his life and told to lay off the seafood.
It is hard to say where Greg Burke; the sub-mariner; stands in the eyes of Sandy Alderson. In 6.1 innings, he has allowed seven hits and four earned runs. However, he struck out eight with no walks. His ERA sits at a lofty 5.68 mark. And lastly, LaTroy Hawkins seems to have made a friend in Terry Collins.
I think the Mets have issues from the left side. As their top southpaw, Josh Edgin has been getting hit around some, allowing nine hits in six innings of work. The Mets are hoping he avoids a sophomore slump as it relates to hurlers. After stepping in last year in the manner which he did, Edgin made himself indispensable to the Mets entering this season. Robert Carson hasn't fared much better. In seven innings, he has allowed eight hits, and five earned runs. Third in, free agent pick-up Aaron Laffey is yet to surrender an earned run in 5.2 innings pitched, but has allowed seven hits.
With all due respect to Pedro Feliciano, you would be hard pressed to find another left-hander headed north with the team. It is hard to say what Pedro can offer the Mets. My guess is, not much; not this time. The other lefty the Mets had in camp was Darin Gorski, who was re-assigned to AA-Binghamton along with some of his fellow Spring mates.
As part of the first round of cuts to get within the 40-man limit, the Mets re-assigned Gonzalez Germen, and Gorski as mentioned, to Binghamton. Colin McHugh, Elvin Ramirez, and most notably, Zach Wheeler, have been re-assigned to AAA-Las Vegas. Hansel Robles gets a promotion from Brooklyn, to Savannah.