Christopher Soto - Spring Training Battles: Back End of the Bullpen


     This has been a no holds barred cage match between a large group of guys with many of them pitching fairly well so far this spring. The current bullpen consists of 4 RHP (3 sans Familia) and 1 LHP so Terry can pretty much go with any combination of guys above and still have a pretty balanced bullpen. For this analysis though we will assume that the opening day bullpen will consists of 5 RHP and 2 LHP giving us 1 RHP spot and 1 LHP spot to fill. In addition, I am making the assumption that Seth Lugo is taking the last spot in the bullpen as the 6th starter/long man for the duration that Jeurys Familia is suspended for.

2nd Left-Hander Job
  • Josh Edgin | 8.1 IP, 4.32 ERA, 3 BB, 9 K, .179 AVG against
    •      Edgin has the inside track on the job by virtue of the fact that he is out of options and cannot be sent to the minor leagues without first being passed through waivers. The consensus amongst folks in the industry right now believe that he would certainly be claimed by another if that happen. That aside.....Edgin has pitched well this spring after shaky off a bit of rust in the early going. His lack of 'premium" velocity though is still a bit of concern as he has failed to regain the ticks on his fastball that he lost due to Tommy John surgery. With other left handed options advancing in the minor league system, the club could decide that it can afford to risk potentially lose Edgin.
  • Josh Smoker | 10.1 IP, 1.74 ERA, 5 BB, 10 K, .200 AVG against
    •       If Edgin were to be pushed.....this is the guy that would cause it. Smoker has been on the fast track to the MLB since the Mets resurrected him from the Independent Leagues in 2015. With a fastball that sits between 95-96 and can touch 100 mph and a wipeout slider that generates a ton of swings and misses, Smoker has the tools to be a premium MLB RP. The club also has quite a bit of confidence that he is ready for the MLB based on his performance in September last season. From Sept 3rd till the end of the season, Smoker faced 32 batters and struck out 14 of them (a 15.1 K/9 rate) while allowing a .241 Avg against.
  • Adam Wilk | 9.1 IP, 1.93 ERA, 2 BB, 7 K, .243 AVG against
    •      Signed to a minor league deal with a camp invite in January, Wilk was supposed to have legitimate shot at competing for the 2nd lefty role this spring.....until Blevins was re-signed that is. Now he's on the outside looking in but that hasn't stopped him from pitching extremely well this Spring. Unless an injury occurs, Wilk seems destined for AAA-Las Vegas where he can either be deployed as the LOOGY down there or he can even be used as a SP. In either scenario, he's an arm that the club will likely hold onto for the 2017 season.
      • ***Adam Wilk was already re-assigned to minor league camp so he is out of the running.***
  • Sean Gilmartin | 6.2 IP, 6.75 ERA, 3 BB, 4 K, .276 AVG against 
    •       The former Rule 5 draft pick couldn't build off of his excellent 2015 bullpen season and was switched back to a SP in AAA-Las Vegas to provide the club some more depth last season. Based on his performance out of the bullpen so far this spring....it seems like he will likely be asked to do the same thing in 2017. With the numerous injury concerns in the club's rotation and the lack of higher end prospects forecasted to begin in AAA this season, Gilmartin could be one of the first arms called up should the injury bug plagued the Mets again.
  • Tom Gorzelanny | 6.2 IP, 9.45 ERA, 4 BB, 6 K, .333 AVG against
    •       Just like Wilk, Gorzelanny was signed to a minor league deal with a camp invite and was supposed to have a chance at winning this job before Blevins was re-signed. Unlike Wilk though, Gorzelanny has not looked very good this spring and is a candidate to be flat out released.

2nd Right-Hander Job
  • Rafael Montero | 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 7 BB, 20 K, .200 AVG against
    •      Can the real Rafael Montero please stand up? If this is him....the Mets may finally be inclined to abandon hopes of him as a SP and carry him on the Opening Day roster as a low to mid leverage RP. The former control specialist is still having problems with his control this spring (4.7 BB/9) but the huge uptick in strikeouts (13.5 K/9) more than makes up for it. His stuff plus the ability to go multiple innings and makes him a perfect fit for an early bullpen usage innings eater role. The question is.....has the club seen enough to trust him?
  • Ben Rowen | 10.1 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1 BB, 6 K, .156 AVG against
    •      Why does a 28 year old an 82 mph fastball have the front office super excited? Well that would be because Mr. Rowen is a submarine style pitcher who has a career 1.85 ERA in the minor leagues. The Mets jumped on the opportunity and made Rowen their 1st minor league signing with a invitation to camp. So far he is proving exactly why the club likes him so much. In today's era of 95 mph+ fastballs from everyone in the MLB bullpen, Rowen gives opponents a very different/very strange look. Not only is the arm slot a rarity.....but his motion is almost wiffle ball like making it extremely difficult for a batter to get his timing right. Rowen has a VERY REAL chance of making it onto the MLB roster. The only thing giving the club pause is the fact that someone would have to be removed from the 40 man roster (or placed on the 60 Day DL) in order for them to add Rowen.
      • ***Ben Rowen was re-assigned to minor league camp today so he is out of the running.***
  • Paul Sewald | 10.1 IP, 1.74 ERA, 3 BB, 6 K, .143 AVG against
    •      A rising bullpen star in the organization, Sewald has produced positive results as the closer for the St. Lucie, Binghamton, and Las Vegas teams over the past 3 seasons. Now he finds himself trying to force himself onto an MLB roster that is pretty crowded when it comes to right handed arms. Sewald doesnt really have the premium stuff most late inning RP have as his fastball only clocks in between 88-92 mph and his slider grades as a league average pitch. However, Sewald plays those pitches up with his unbelievable command of the lower half of the strike zone. It seems like Sewald will come up short this spring....but he may very well be getting a call to the big leagues at some point this season. 
  • Erik Goeddel | 6.1 IP, 9.95 ERA, 0 BB, 9 K, .429 AVG against 
    •      Goeddel has MLB experience......he's had MLB success......he possesses strikeout caliber stuff......unfortunately for him, he's coming off of elbow surgery and doesn't look like he is 100% yet. An assignment back to Las Vegas seems very much in the cards for him for now. However, since he IS on the 40 man roster, once the club does feel like he is ready, he could very well be the 1st right handed bullpen arm called up.
      • ***Erik Goeddel was re-assigned to minor league camp today so he is out of the running.***


Mack Ade said...

Good work on this one, Chris.

It will surprise me if the Mets don't keep Edgin in Queens. I don't think he's earned it, but options are options.

We'll know soon enough.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nice summary. A tough pare down job. Hope Sewald and Smoker make it

bill metsiac said...

Smoker more likely, since he's on the 40. If Sewald (how does he pronounce his name?) makes it, someone would have to be cut from the 40.

In any case, someone gets a shot while Familia is gone, so there is more time to make the final decision.

Mack Ade said...

what cones first... Trump gets his cabinet or Familia gets his suspension?

Christopher Soto said...

I still firmly believe that the club will only carry 2 lefties and that Edgin is going to get pushed out of the job by Smoker.

Instead of trying to option him to AAA, I think it would be in the Mets best interest to trade him.

San Francisco just lost their lefty specialist, Will Smith, to a UCL injury. Seems like a logical fit in exchange for a low level prospect or International Signing Bonus money for the 2017-2018 signing period.

Hobie said...

Got just the guy to bring back from SF (opens up a 40 man slot too) -- RHRP, Ryan Halstead 6'5", 220, 25 yo in May (21st Rd in 1915 out of Indiana U.)

Last year at Augusta (SAL) 4-3, 3.83 in 54 IP (62 K, 1.13WHIP) which was OK, but...
Started HORRIBLY in 1st pro full season:
APR/MAY 15G, 0-2, 9.37ERA in 16.1 IP (17K, 1.90WHIP)

JUN-SEP 33G, 4-1, 0.96ERA in 36.2 IP (45K/5BB, 0.833WHIP)
moved up to San Jose for Play-offs

OK, he's my cousin's kid so I'm rooting for him.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nepotism works. Just ask Barry Bonds.

bill metsiac said...

Edgin has no options, so we keep him, trade him or put him on Wai ears and get nothing if he's claimed.

I say give him the period of Jeuris' suspension to win a job or pitch his way out of town.

Mack's Mets © 2012