Saturday, March 27, 2010

Figgy Looks to be Bullpen Bound, Takahashi as well: Who's Left Out?

So according to Marty Noble on, here, it's starting to look like Nelson Figueroa will be on the Mets opening day roster, coming out of the bullpen.  Noble says, "Two people among the club's decision-makers indicated as much before the Mets engaged the Marlins here Friday, before Figueroa, deployed as a starter, provided the kind of performance that makes staff-savers necessary." 

So it looks like Figueroa was counted in, as long as his performance against the Marlins yesterday didn't kill his chances.  It's not easy to go into every outting thinking you need to be perfect, so maybe the Mets will cut Figgy some slack, for once, and give him what he's earned this spring, a spot pn the team. 

And according to David Waldstein, in this article on Hisanori Takahashi, here, it looks like he's in as well.  Waldstein says, "According to two people in baseball with knowledge of the Mets’ plans, Takahashi has made the team barring a disaster in Saturday’s start or some unforeseen trade. But he will almost certainly be a reliever when the team breaks camp, not a starter, because the team has all but named Jon Niese its No. 5 starter."

So there we have it.  Looks like Figgy and Takahashi are in, which makes it seem to me, that  at least one of Parnell, Green and Nieve are out.  Assume that K-Rod, Feliciano and Igarashi are locks.  Apparently Takahashi and Figgy are now in as well.  Add those 5 to the starters, and there are only potential two spots left on a 12 man staff.  That leaves Mejia, Misch, Green, Parnell, Calero and Nieve for two spots.  With the way Misch has been pitching and the idea that the Mets don't necessarily see Takahashi as a lefty specialist, that is an option.  Then there is Calero who's been pitching well, but not as much as Green, Nieve and Parnell.

So my prediction, should the Mets decided to carry 12 pitchers, is that Nieve and Misch will be in, while Calero gets more work in Florida and waits in the wings.  Green and Parnell will probably get sent down or traded.  While the Mets will do the right thing and Mejia will probably be sent down to be a starter at Binghamton.  So that would leave my projected bullpen as, Figgy, Feliciano, Igarashi, Takahashi, K-Rod, Misch and Nieve.  Thats a nice bunch of arms, but also a group of guys who are slightly out of place.  Outside of K-Rod, Feliciano and Igarashi the rest of that group is starters who couldn't cut it.  I'm slightly concerned about that.  But no one ever said you needed to be a reliever to be good at relief pitching.

I am still very intrigued with the potential of how this bullpen will shape up, especially with these reports that Takahashi and Figgy are probably included.  Those two guys have earned it, but the question remains, who else does the team think earned it this spring.  

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