Ernest Dove - Can New York Mets Spell RELIEF Without Always Making the Words TORRES and FAMILIA?


  Look, I get it.  Sometimes Terry Collins can made out to be on his own island of sorts, struggling in the possible worries of losing his job, losing the fan base (more then he probably already has) and lose confidence from ownership on almost a nightly basis based on the almighty win column. But, in my eyes, this is not your 2014, 2013, 2012 Mets anymore. 

  We are now moving along May 2015, and the Amazin's are 18-10, in first place, and heading into a series with a struggling club.  I don't wish to criticize coaches, management or ownership anymore, but I would like to write a post about respectfully questioning the ongoing decision process, game after game, day after day, when almost always includes the names Torres and Familia and their entrance onto the mound from the bullpen, no matter the score.

  Look, we know coming into the season that even an improved Mets offense would still have to ultimately end up in many 2-1, 3-2 ballgames throughout the season.  I also fully understand that the bullpen has once again been dismantled by injuries (better then by old age and poor performance from minor league contract veterans). But over the course of the first 28 games, I'm interested in some of the decisions, even with multiple run leads heading into the 7th/8th/9th innings, to go with old faithful's that include A Torres, C Torres and Familia.

  On Wednesday night, thanks to the coming out party hosted by Dilson Herrera, and solid pitching by Jacob degrom, the Mets headed into the late innings with a 4 run lead.  And yet, rather then at least letting 'someone else' take the ball in the 9th to close out the game, the Mets not so surprisingly went with Carlos in the 8th.  Then, Alex Torres came on for the 9th, and although I would still preferred he also get rest and allow for 'those other guys' to close it out, at least I knew that Familia would get some rest...... right up until 1 guy got on base, and apparently even with 1 out already in the 9th, the coaching staff immediately decided to go with old faithful to close it out.

  Yes, I get it, the Mets have two days off this week.  I get it because I've already heard the same exactly excuse last month when they had a day off and they did it.  But the season is 162 games, and the 2015 Mets are looking to play in more then 162 this year.  And so, rather then simply have the Torres boys and Familia each eclipse 90 appearances in the regular season, wouldn't it at least be helpful once in a while, especially with an actual multi-run lead, to pitch somebody else.

  Heck, last time I checked, old Buddy is the one who closed out opening day for this team. He proceeded to throw scoreless innings for weeks.   Then gave up a few runs, and is now becoming a ghost in that bullpen.  Although, if I a to consider him a ghost, what would that make Gilmartin, Goeddel and Robles?

  Gilmartin is technically forced onto the 25 man roster with that whole rule 5 thing, but he's also a just turned 25 (happy belated b'day) year old former first round pick who seemed to have quietly started to get somewhat comfortable in the relief role early on. 

  Goeddel, with his all important 'LIVE arm' label, has shown some flashes of brilliance with his power fastball and talent.

  Robles is obviously the biggest wildcard in the group.  On the 40 man, but obviously kind of a shocker when he was called up to begin with.  But then, he did randomly end up pitching in the bright lights of the Bronx against Arid, and also was thrown into at least one other HUGE spot to help the team stay in a ballgame, but has since disappeared once again.

  Guys like an ailing David Wright can be slowed back into the fold during a winning streak to get healthier, but its my humble opinion that pitchers, and their arms, should not be thrown out there night in and night out simply because the game is technically still in reach, or because their pitch count in last nights game was low, or because there is a day off on the schedule.  All 25 guys on this team are professional baseball players. They are being paid major league money (see the minor Puello scandal to see how important the organization takes its major league money and service time). So they should be given their chance to produce for this team.  Even, Gilmartin and his limited experience is still a 25 year old ballplayer with AAA level experience coming into the season.  If, for example, the Mets had called up 40 man roster guy Akeel Morris to fill a temporary void, perhaps I would then further understand hiding him in the bullpen and hope for speedier recovery from Parnell and Black. 

 As is stands, the Mets remain full of talented arms.  And I assume their rule 5, 40-man and other important decisions that led to the (now temporary) loss of Logan Verret in favor of Goeddel, keeping of Gilmartin, and maintaining of Buddy were not just possibly necessary, but also well deserved opportunities for these guys to continue to live out their dreams to play for and help a major league team, and specifically the Mets.

  Again, I'm not arguing, ranting or criticizing here.  I want my favorite childhood baseball team to win just as much as everybody else, including Sandy, Terry and ownership.  But I was quietly assuming that, after years of losing and whispers of the dreaded annual hot seat, Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson have continued to receive contract extensions through this latest and current season.  So there is hopefully not a day to day rope being hung over the head of these guys, and more of a legit, consistent and long term vote of confidence to at the very least see through this entire season and share the possible success and triumph that is still possibly ahead. 

  So, why not risk a 4 run lead........in the 9th inning....... with one out already......... and pitch one of the 4 other guys in that bullpen who have earned their chance (and their consistent paychecks) to be on this team in the first place.........................


Mack Ade said...

Mets starting pitchers have posted a 1.07 ERA in May - as long as you see these kind of numbers, there will be a limited amount of need for relievers past the Torres boys and Familiar

Reese Kaplan said...

Are you trying to suggest that Terry Collins plays favorites and buries certain players on the bench? No, perish the thought. I never noticed THAT before...(though I usually point it out on offense) :)

Ernest Dove said...

Well the Mets are about to play 20 games in 20 days..... can't play the same three in all of them.

Bob Sugar said...

Sugar said the same thing yesterday in my comments. Plagiarism!

Thomas Brennan said...

The forgotten ingredient in why Familia is pitching so much....David Wright. Huh? Well, offense is down since he forgot he was fragile and hurt himself trying to steal an unnecessary base all the way back on April 14.

So we are 18-10, not 20-8, as I assume that had Wright been here we'd have won 2 more games, just a guess. And without his potent bat, some leads are likely smaller than they'd otherwise been.

When Collins has less of a first place lead and smaller game to game leads late, he understandably overuses these guys. Probably hopes Parnell and Black will return soon as good as new to alleviate the burden.

But for now, Wright is the culprit. I may be the only one who thinks that way, but I am adamant about it.

eraff said...

There is not a Manager who doesn't "over use" his bullpen aces.

My gripe is about getting them "up and ready" too often. Famiglia was up and ready 2 nights ago---may as well give him the entire Clean Sheet Inning.

Mack's Mets © 2012