With the Mets in need of a second lefty in the bullpen and with the team having just dispatched lefties Josh Edgin and Adam Kolarek to minor league camp, Terry Collins said Monday that John Lannan will soon get a look in the pen.
Mar 7, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher John Lannan (32) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Lannan is still on the periphery of the fifth starter “competition,” but it’s likely that either Jenrry Mejia or Daisuke Matsuzaka will round out the rotation. If that’s the case, Lannan would be ticketed for either the minor leagues or the bullpen.
It should be noted that Lannan, 29, has never pitched out of the bullpen in the majors.
In addition to the fact that Lannan has always been a starting pitcher, is the fact that his career splits against righties and lefties are virtually identical (.262 BAA vs. righties, .270 BAA vs. lefties).
In both 2012 and 2013, though, Lannan fared worse against lefties than righties.
If the Mets foolishly choose to use Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation over Jenrry Mejia, one of the bullpen spots will likely belong to Mejia, with the other going to one of Farnsworth, Valverde, Lannan, Gonzalez Germen, or Joel Carreno.
When you take into account that Lannan has never pitched out of the bullpen, and that he’s fared worse against lefties than righties over the course of his career, shifting him to the pen makes little sense.