|Photo by Michael Baron|
enthusiastic offense that we love to see comeback nightly will become demoralized if their comebacks are blown by the pen on a nightly basis.
Frank Francisco has to be demoted, even if it's called temporary while he sorts things out. You can't have a closer who loses two leads in one series, melts down on an ump and then sulks at his locker while blaming the umps. And lets face it, Francisco wasn't that consistent before Miami...
Rauch would be the next candidate, but he's been almost as inconsistent as Francisico. While his ERA for the season is a solid 2.93, in his last ten outings he's holding a 5.40 ERA. Still, even at 5.40 it's much better then Francisco who's ERA on the season is sitting at 8.56 with a putrid 11.74 in the last ten games.
Rauch would have a short leash and if he failed it would be on to Bobby Parnell. I don't trust Parnell in pressure situations, as he's had a tendency to melt down as well but I trust Francisco even less at this point. Aside from a few hiccups, Parnell has had a solid start to the season posting a 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 ERA in his last ten games.
In addition to playing round robbin with the closers role I would also bring up reinforcements from the minors league, because the middle relievers haven't been the most consistent group of pitchers. It's time to demote Manny Acosta, he's had some solid outings and he's had some very bad ones. It's less to do with Acosta and more to do with sending a message and infusing some new blood.
If Collins/Alderson want to use Byrdak as the closer instead Rauch/Parnell/Francisco he's certainly earned the shot and the first promotion would have to be Josh Edgin to become the LOOGY. The big man who looked so solid in spring training has posted a 1.42 ERA with 2 saves in six outings since being promoted to Buffalo.
The Mets could also promote veteran Fernando Cabrera who has recorded eight saves in 17 games with a 2.65 ERA and has held RHB to a .234 BAA. Cabrera looks to be a ROOGY as his numbers haven't been pretty against LHB in which he has allowed a .321 BAA.
Another candidate would be Elvin Ramirez, who has a 0.00 ERA in his first four games in Buffalo and before that in Bing he had a 1.38 ERA.
It has also been suggested that the Mets could use the Texas Rangers model of developing pitchers, with Jeurys Familia or Henrry Mejia ( when he's ready). This wouldn't be a bounce back and forth between the pen and the rotation which could cause injury but a commitment to the pen for this year.
Regardless of who they called up, I would bring in at least two new relievers taking the place of Acosta and possible Batista if he bombs tonight, with Carrasco taking his spot as the fill-in starter. The Mets could also go short on the bench until they sort out the pen.