When the Mets determined that John Lannan was unlikely to be able to make a positive contribution out of the bullpen, they demoted him. After a somewhat decent start that has been undone by a string of poor appearances, it’s time for the Mets to do the same with Jose Valverde.
Apr 16, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jose Valverde (right) reacts after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in the ninth inning at Chase Field. The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
While often allowing multiple runners per inning, Valverde was able to dance around trouble/potential blown saves during his first five appearances in 2014. Since then, it’s gotten ugly.
Since April 12, Valverde has been scored upon during four of five appearances.
During that time, spanning five innings, Valverde has allowed nine runs on eight hits. He’s walked three and struck out five.
After his appearance on April 19 against Atlanta (when he allowed three runs in an inning of work), Valverde was removed from the closer role and replaced by Kyle Farnsworth.
Tuesday night against St. Louis, Valverde allowed another run on a walk and a hit.
The Mets have a number of potential replacements in Triple-A Las Vegas, but the one who should come up to take Valverde’s spot is Vic Black.
Black was sent down prior to Opening Day and hasn’t gotten his wildness completely under control (he’s walked seven in eight innings).
However, in 7.1 innings pitched for Las Vegas, Black has yet to allow a run and has only given up three hits. Additionally, three of the seven walks he’s allowed came during one appearance.
With Vic Black, the Mets have a somewhat flawed pitcher, but one who has improved lately and is expected to be a key bullpen piece going forward. In Jose Valverde, the Mets have a pitcher who isn’t a long-term answer who is sabotaging games nearly every time he takes the ball.
It’s time for the Jose Valverde experiment to end.