Sep 24, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Vic Black throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning at Great American Ball Park. The Mets won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

How Will the Bullpen Shake Out?

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In 44 days, the Mets will play a meaningful game.  There are more than a dozen relievers prepared to vie for one of seven spots in the bullpen, and only a few who appear to have guaranteed spots.  Here’s how I see things shaking out:

Closer:

Barring a setback health-wise, this spot belongs to Bobby Parnell.  Aside from common sense dictating it, general manager Sandy Alderson has confirmed that the closer will be Parnell.

Left handed relievers:

Like Parnell, Scott Rice is guaranteed a spot in this pen barring injury.  I expect the Mets to go with two lefties in the bullpen, and think the second southpaw will be Josh Edgin, who excelled during the second half of 2013 before an injury cut his year short.

Jack Leathersich is a possibility, but there are two things that stand in his way.  The first, is the fact that he has stark reverse platoon splits.  The second is the fact that he needs to develop better command before making the jump to the majors.

Right handed relievers:

Vic Black, who was the player to be named later in the deal that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pirates last year, has a leg up on one of these spots.

As far as the other two spots, I see those being filled by two of Jeurys Familia, Gonzalez Germen, and Joel Carreno.  The Mets have added Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth on minor league deals, but I have a gut feeling that both of them will be on the outside looking in come March 31st due to diminished stuff.

Since both Familia and Germen are on the 40-man roster and Carreno is not, I’d expect Familia and Germen to be in the pen on opening day with  Carreno (and possibly Valverde and Farnsworth) heading to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Long-man:

I’ve seen some tab John Lannan as the likely long-man, but I’d be very surprised if that turned out to be the case.

Carlos Torres, who is on the 40-man roster, still relatively young (31), and can pitch in short relief, long relief, and spot start if needed, is the perfect choice for this role and the pitcher who should get it.

 

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