For the third consecutive season, the New York Mets bullpen is a weakness. We look back at the small number of high-level performers during these three years.
When we look at recent New York Mets bullpens, we find a lot of men who flamed out quickly. Many of these guys were either near the end of their career or at the beginning of a rather uneventful one.
Since the post-playoff 2016 season, it has been a major issue for the ball club. Finding relief help has been a futile effort. Whether via trade, free agency, or the minor leagues, the Mets have struggled with late-inning support.
In an attempt to set a standard, I would say a decent reliever gives a team a minimum of 40 innings and posts an ERA below 4.00. That’s not to say a guy who tosses 39.2 frames with a 3.99 ERA has been effective. In fact, he’s probably below average in several categories. Many relievers can skate through an otherwise bad year and have numbers like this.
Given how bad many of the relief corps have been in recent seasons, this is where I will set the bar if only to show how few men even meet this level. I’m not looking for excellent relief pitchers. I’m looking for ones who can pass as favorable.
A successful bullpen will have at least four men who meet this expectation. Over the past three years, it’s hard to find even four good seasons from Mets relief pitchers.
Whether they’ve been the closer, a setup man, left-handed specialist, or just an innings eater, Mets relievers have underperformed. Here I would like to take a look at the few men who have actually held leads successfully and were able to keep the opponents at bay.