Sherman: Mets Bullpen Overused

Though its not exactly surprising to anyone who follows the Mets on a daily basis, Joel Sherman posted some interesting numbers and opinion about Willie Randolph’s bullpen abuse on his New York Post Hardball Blog.

Sherman points out that Wednesday was the 14th time this season (out of 26 games) that the Mets used 4 releivers in 1 game:

This is an observation and an observation only, but obviously one tinged with caution. But I think Randolph is using his relievers too frequently. It is not about total innings. It is about the abundance of arms the Mets are deploying daily to get through games. You could possibly say Randolph is spreading the wealth, that by having a lot of different relievers chip away daily, none is being overexposed. But I think frequency is more devilish than length. A combination of gut and reporting tells me it is better to be used 61 times for 107 2-3 innings (how Joe Torre used Mariano Rivera in 1996) than 83 times for 102 1-3 innings (how Torre used Scott Proctor in 2006).

The Mets were the only team in the majors that had asked five relievers to work in at least 13 games: Aaron Heilman (15), Pedro Feliciano (14), Scott Schoeneweis (13), Jorga Sosa (13) and Joe Smith (13). The only other team to have even four pitchers with at least 13 games were the Rockies, but the Rockies had to cover 245 innings or 26 1-3 more than the Mets.

And Sosa, Heilman and Feliciano also were used in Wednesday’s game. The workload is growing. I wonder if effectiveness will go the other way.

There is no denying that Willie had no other choice on Wednesday but to go to the bullpen after Ollie’s Follies. But, there have been several other games this season where Willie was quick to pull Perez, Maine, or Figueroa in games where they still had leads and low enough pitch counts.

Perez clearly is prone to meltdowns but maybe if Willie let him try to get out of his jams over the past few weeks, Perez might have had the confidence to deal with the errors that happened behind him yesterday. He did win 15 games last season and looked fairly good doing it.

Willie ran the bullpen into the ground last season and clearly has learned absolutely nothing from his experiences…and I’ll say it yet again…where is Rick Peterson through all this? If Peterson is going along with this overuse, then he needs to go too.

Day after day, we see why Willie Randolph is not cut out to be a major league manager.

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One Response

  1. Thank you, Joel Sherman, and you too Corey for bringing up a topic that has gotten way, way too little attention. This has been a problem since last year (probably would have been in ’06 if we weren’t cruising all year that season.) Willie just can’t manage to get through a game without using five guys and warming up two more.

    Is it any wonder then that the bullpen imploded down the stretch last year, or that we heard some big time griping and frustration leaking out of that pen last year with regard to guys’ roles and how they were being used, etc.?

    Do folks realize that in the first 58 games last season, Joe Smith – he of a single year in pro ball and almost all of that in short-season Brooklyn, was trotted out to the mound TWENTY NINE TIMES?! Is it any wonder that the kid’s ERA, which was around 1.35 at that point, was up around 9.00 thereafter, or that by mid-season, he was back down in the minors, his arm and/or brain and/or both totally and entirely fried?

    Way to work ’em, guys.

    During yesterday’s game, I commented in a post here that I wanted a new manager, and probably a new pitching coach. Where, indeed, is Rick Peterson while all this is happening? Is he telling Willie, begging Willie, not to use five guys again tonight?

    Argh. Finally, at least, someone in the media is asking the right questions.

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