Mets may carry eight relievers, four bench players

By Danny Abriano

First reported by Kristie Ackert and since confirmed by Adam Rubin, the Mets are considering carrying eight relievers early on this season.

Carrying eight relievers would mean having just four bench players on the roster, almost certainly meaning that Eric Campbell would open the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets’ bench in that scenario would be Anthony Recker (catcher), Ruben Tejada (infield), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (outfield), and John Mayberry, Jr. (first base/outfield).

Rubin speculates that carrying eight relievers could be an effort to hold onto reliever Buddy Carlyle, who has an out in his contract if he’s not on the 25-man roster.

At present, the Mets’ bullpen is set to consist of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Alex Torres, Jerry Blevins, Sean Gilmartin, and Rafael Montero.

Also of note is that both Vic Black (shoulder) and Bobby Parnell (recovery from Tommy John surgery) are expected to be ready to join the bullpen soon. Black is expected to miss only the first six games of the season before being ready for activation.


Depending on how long the Mets plan to carry eight relievers (if they go through with the idea), this could be a way to prolong the inevitable a bit longer.

With Dillon Gee in the rotation and Rafael Montero in the bullpen, the Mets will soon have a glut to deal with whether they carry seven relievers or eight.

The smart move would be to trade Gee and insert Montero in the starting rotation, thus opening up a spot in the bullpen for Black when he returns.

It’s not known what the Mets will do when Parnell comes back, but he’ll fit in the bullpen (without another move having to be made) if the Mets deal Gee and keep eight relievers.

The issue with carrying eight relievers is that it will severely limit Terry Collins‘ in-game maneuverability.

Collins is always hesitant to use Anthony Recker as a pinch hitter, so going with four bench players would essentially leave the Mets with a three-man bench.

The smaller bench would hamper positional maneuvers, potential double-switches, and put the Mets in a bind whenever they pinch hit and a counter-move is made.

What the Mets should be doing is finding a taker for Gee, not going with an eight-man bullpen and four-man bench. That kind of situation just isn’t tenable.

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