Scott Rice, the only true lefty specialist in the Mets bullpen, has had a dreadful start to his 2014 campaign.
In 2.2 innings spanning five appearances, Rice has posted a 13.50 ERA to go with a WHIP of 3.00. He’s allowed five hits, walked three, and uncorked two wild pitches.
His appearance during Sunday’s blowout loss to the Angels was alarming. Rice entered a game that was already well out of hand and was all over the place.
The guy pitched in 73 games last year. And a lot of times the next year, when you pitch in that many games for the first time in your life, your arm doesn’t bounce back real fast. It takes a little time. I’ve seen it where, unfortunately, you’ve got to go through it. We’ve got to find the sinker. That’s the pitch that’s missing. He’s always been a guy that will miss down, but when the sinker is working, he gets outs.
Rice was more than solid in 2013, and his struggles so far this season have come in a very small sample size.
Still, it’s concerning that the only lefty in the bullpen is struggling this badly.
The issue for the Mets, is that they don’t really have any other viable left-handed options should Rice continue to struggle.
If Rice isn’t able to right himself, the Mets may have to go outside the organization for a replacement.