Bullpen Answers Are With The Prospects

So much for the Jose Valverde experiment.

Just two weeks into his tenure as closer, Papa Grande has become a Busto Grande in his attempt to take over as Mets closer.

And now Kyle Farnsworth will take over as Mets closer – for now.

But anyone who has seen Farnsworth pitch this year knows he is not the long term answer. Instead, the Mets will need to look elsewhere for a reliable ninth inning man if they are planning on doing anything in 2014.

Vic Black might be that answer, but he is down with Las Vegas. He is off to a good start for Wally Backman’s team, with a save in five appearances and no earned runs, but he had a terrible spring forcing the Mets to keep him down in Triple-A for just a little longer.

However, Black should be up here now.

Neither Farnsworth, nor Valverde, are the long term answers, instead it’s the Mets young stockpile of arms. That is where the team should be looking for its next closer, not retreading out old MLB has-beens.

Start with Black, since the clock has started. Bring him up today. But also consider starting pitchers Rafael Montero and Cory Mazzoni as possible promotions. Put them in the bullpen and see what you have. Sure, these guys are starters right now, but if they can help the Mets in Flushing, then so much the better.

This is the model they use in St. Louis and it’s worked out well for the Cardinals over the last few years.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the Met way. The Alderson front office seems to be more interested in keeping these guys in the minors, waiting for the last possible second to “start the clock” on their young players. In their minds, it lengthens the time the team has them under control, while also saving arbitration money a few years out.

Also they may feel minor league starters are more valuable chips as opposed to major league relievers.

Both thoughts are flawed.  By keeping these kids in the minors until their “Super-2” time has passed, only hurts the major league team, while also ticking off these kids, who get delayed in their paydays, and ultimately will less likely stay when free agency comes around.

A mentality like that works in Oakland, but not in New York.

Unfortunately this seems to be Sandy Alderson’s MO when running the Mets. It seems that he wants to be as deliberate as possible when it comes to promoting from the system. In all fairness, he has done a great job in rebuilding the farm system, but it’s now time to see the fruits of his labor.

And that means you have to do more than just promote Noah Syndergaard at the All-Star Break. If Alderson is serious about 90 wins, he needs to take a few risks to see if the talent they have lives up to the hype.

The young prospects will solve the Mets bullpen woes. The answers are there and not  Farnsworth and Valverde.

All Alderson has to do is pull the trigger.

Let’s see what these kids have.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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