3/18/15

Reese Kaplan -- Who Gets Voted Off the Island?

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The German derived word schadenfreude explains the concept of someone taking pleasure at the misfortune of others.  While no one will admit it publicly, the fringe players hoping to make the pitching rotation have to have quietly said some kind of thanks for the opportunities that evolved due to the Tommy John surgeries scheduled for both Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler. 

Going into Spring Training it appeared as if the team roster was pretty much set in stone with the only possibility being a second lefty in the bullpen.  Now it appears they would settle for a single one who can pitch reliably.  Despite stories in the media about the team scouting Baltimore’s Brian Matusz, for the purposes of this speculation let’s assume the solutions are to evolve from resources already in-house.

So what do these injuries mean to the final roster decisions?  Let’s look at the sure things:

Starters
Bartolo Colon
Jacob de Grom
Matt Harvey
Jon Niese

Could Go Either Way
Dillon Gee
Rafael Montero

Bullpen
Jenrry Mejia
Jeurys Familia
Vic Black
Carlos Torres

Possibilities (pick two)
Dario Alvarez
Buddy Carlyle
Sean Gilmartin
Scott Rice
Erik Goeddel
Cory Mazzoni

Dario Alvarez hasn’t been any better.  He’s less hittable – only a .250 average against him – but control has been a major issue.  In addition to his 3 hits he’s also given up 4 walks while striking out 5.  His spring ERA thus far is 10.80.

Buddy Carlyle has been hittable to the tune of a .294 batting average against, but he’s yet to give up a run and had a nice stint on the 2014 team.  He has a clause in his contract that says he becomes a free agent if he’s not on the roster, so he has a leg up on some of the competition. 

Thus far Sean Gilmartin has not acquitted himself very well in his bid to become perhaps the sole southpaw out of the pen.  Through Monday he has given up 8 hits in 4.1 IP.  He’s also issued 3 walks and batters are teeing off to a .400 average against him.  He’s pitching to a 10.38 ERA.   Rule V selection or not, he’s making it difficult on himself. 

Erik Goeddel is still on the 40-man roster and thus far this Spring he’s pitching pretty much as he did in Las Vegas last year – 4.50 ERA and batters hitting a robust .333 against him.   

Cory Mazzoni has been a starter his whole career and been rather Gee-like in his execution.  Thus far in Spring Training he's been flat out awful, though in very limited duty.  He's never worked out of the pen before so there's no telling how his arm would respond.

Scott Rice’s ERA is better at 9.82, but he’s been both hittable and giving up walks.  He is familiar to the manager and that often plays a factor in decision making. 

Non-roster invitees Cody Satterwhite and Zack Thornton have pitched well in limited action but they have their roster status working against them. Rumor has it Duane Below and Darin Gorski will cross over and get a look against major league competition, too, but they too would have the roster issue.  


So let's play a guessing game...if you are the Mets who would get the final two spots in the bullpen?  There are two issues at play here -- who they should choose and who they will likely choose.  My guess right now would be that Sean Gilmartin and Buddy Carlyle get the first crack at these spots since they stand to lose both of them if they don't come north with the team.  However, based upon pitching Carlyle and Alvarez would probably make more sense as Alvarez has been able to strike out lefties and hasn't been too hittable.  His control issues are almost Jack Leathersich level bad, but it seems out of character for Alvarez whereas it's been a chronic problem for Leathersich.

Then again, knowing the Mets it'll probably be Scott Rice.  

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