Apr 26, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth (44) pitches during the tenth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Miami Marlins won 7-6 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets need an immediate upgrade at closer

Prior to the season, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson intimated that the goal for 2014 should be 90 wins. While that goal seemed like a bit of a reach, the Mets – the last three games in the thin air of Colorado notwithstanding – have been playing solid ball.

Although the Mets couldn’t foresee Bobby Parnell tearing his UCL and needing Tommy John surgery (which is something that happened after the 90 wins goal came out), it will be impossible to take the Mets seriously if they continue trotting out Kyle Farnsworth to shut the door.

After Parnell’s injury and Jose Valverde‘s implosion, Farnsworth – who didn’t make the team out of spring training because of a lack of velocity – ascended to the closer role.

While Farnsworth’s velocity has been back for the most part, the results have been largely poor – and his presence at the end of games is an untenable one. Still, Terry Collins said before Sunday’s game that Farnsworth remains the closer. That shouldn’t be the case.

In three of his last four appearances, Farnsworth has been completely ineffective.

On April 23 against St. Louis, Farnsworth allowed three hits in the ninth, but avoided a blown save when Ruben Tejada gunned down the would-be tying run at the plate. Three days later against Miami, Farnsworth gave up the deciding home run in extra innings. Last night, Farnsworth came in to protect a 10-9 Mets lead in the ninth in Colorado, but surrendered a leadoff hit to Troy Tulowitzki and a game-winning two-run homer to Charlie Culberson (that was aided by Coors Field).

The Mets watched recently-signed Joel Hanrahan throw at a showcase a few weeks ago, but he landed in Detroit for a base salary of $1 million. There were many other teams who were certainly interested in Hanrahan – especially at that price. He likely wound up in Detroit because they give him the best opportunity to win.

With Hanrahan off the board, the Mets need to go in another direction at closer – either internally or externally. One thing they absolutely cannot do, is continue to turn to Farnsworth with the game on the line.

The Mets could give Gonzalez Germen a shot, try one of their minor league arms (perhaps Jacob deGrom), or swing a trade.

With the club at 15-14 and done with their rough early-season schedule, the opportunity to make 2014 a winning campaign is still there. However, continuing to run Kyle Farnsworth out there will run counter to their internal goals.

 

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