The Mets bullpen is in a different kind of sticky situation without Edwin Diaz

Just as soon as our faith was restored, it got ripped away.
Houston Astros v New York Mets
Houston Astros v New York Mets / Luke Hales/GettyImages
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Something in your gut might have told you the New York Mets bullpen was going to blow Saturday’s game. Tylor Megill couldn’t have possibly pitched as mediocre as he did and come away with a win. The baseball gods hate the Mets too much to let that happen.

Predictably, Jake Diekman couldn’t find his command. A little more surprising was the version of Reed Garrett we all expected to see before this magnificent season of his began. Danny Young allowing the game to get further out of reach didn’t help matters much either.

In the absence of Edwin Diaz for his use of “sticky stuff,” the Mets bullpen finds itself in a whole different kind of sticky situation. We’ve subtracted Drew Smith from the equation. Suddenly, the hottest hitting team in baseball is seeing its production go to waste because the pitching staff isn’t holding up their end of the deal.

The Mets bullpen is the pinched nerve on the team right now

Ty Adcock pitched well for the Mets, but his time with the team is likely temporary. A fine depth piece to have, if the Mets end up depending on him, they’re in some trouble.

What the Mets do have going for them are some relievers in the minors pitching incredibly well. Tyler Jay, Cole Sulser, and Josh Walker have all dominated at the Triple-A level. The problem is when they’ve gotten some sniffs of big league action, they’ve been much less effective. We shouldn’t count on them to carry over the success to the major leagues because in a small sample size they haven’t.

Throughout David Stearns’ tenure, the Mets have been active on the waiver wire. Opting to add optional relievers they have faith in over guys who’d be stuck on the MLB roster, it has helped them overcome some injuries and all of the players they’ve DFA’d since the season began. Still, this doesn’t seem like the solution we’re looking for. No. The Mets relievers are mediocre and until we get nearer to the trade deadline when they can add a more successful pitcher, getting creative is the next step to take.

Creativity doesn’t have to involve the Mets reinventing the wheel. Simply moving a starter to the bullpen might be what’s needed. Megill is an obvious candidate. Replace him in the rotation with Christian Scott or Jose Butto or both. Even throwing one of those youngsters into the bullpen mix isn’t a horrible idea to save their innings. Let’s first let them fail as a starter at the big league level.

Other minor league options for the Mets

There aren’t many in the minors right now performing well who’d look like serious upgrades. Yacksel Rios and Eric Orze have both been wild despite holding runners from scoring. Max Kranick has transitioned nicely into a relief role and veteran Matt Festa has been one of the better arms for the Syracuse Mets. All worth a shot in the majors, it doesn’t exactly feel like upward mobility. At best, the Mets are moving laterally in terms of talent.

Because the Mets were unable to replace Diaz on the roster during his suspension, the bullpen has been shorthanded for the last four games. It has hurt them twice. Only against the New York Yankees were they able to escape it. Versus the Houston Astros, in yet another game where the starting pitcher didn’t go deep, it caught up.

One problem for the Mets has led to another. Fewer innings from the starting pitchers means more are needed from the relievers. Fewer relievers available on top of some diminishing abilities feels like this bullpen is swinging back to the way it was in May after an exhaustive April when they pitched so incredibly well.

With the offense roaring, the bruises caused by the pitchers have been masked. Mets pitchers own a 4.04 ERA in June which is tied for 12th with the Washington Nationals. It’s right on the borderline of good or not. The eye test, however, tells us it for sure isn’t good enough.

We should expect a couple of roster moves ASAP by the Mets. Send Megill down and replace him with a reliever. Young has faltered enough that swapping him for a fresher arm isn't outrageous either.

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