What should the Mets do with the bullpen? K-Rod is a mess and Takahashi is a free agent. Do you think any young players could help?
-Rich – Astoria, Queens
The Mets are stuck with anger management 101’s newest enrolled member for one more year. His velocity has been decreasing since he arrived in Queens and his control issues make fans climb walls. Most elite closers can manage with decent control because of a 95-98mph heater. K-Rod has been throwing a 92 mph fastball, and he’s been hurt when he falls behind in counts. Nevertheless, it should be K-Rod’s job to lose come spring training. With that said, The Mets should have the flexibility San Francisco has had with their under performing stars. K-Rod is still the best option on the club due to his track record, but his rope should be tighter than in years past.
The Mets should only bring Takahashi back if it’s a one year deal. I don’t like the idea of signing an aging relief pitcher with one year of big league experience to a multi-year deal. He was solid in many different roles for the Mets and succeeded in some very tough situations. They should look to get him at a reasonable price and not over spend. Middle relief is often tricky and unpredictable. You don’t want to pay too much and get tied up in big deals.
Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell
In my opinion Mejia and Parnell need to start the year in the bullpen and be left there. I look at a Neftali Feliz and see a 22 year old top prospect flamethrower with 40 saves. Mejia has the stuff you want from a closer with an A fastball that cuts and a nasty slider. Putting a big prospect arm in the pen for the long haul is not a punishment or an over aggressive move if he shortens the game. Mejia has the stuff of a dominant closer. Parnell’s development depends on his ability to throw his secondary stuff consistently for strikes. His fastball runs triple digits and he’s a power arm you’d love to give every chance come 2011.
How do the Mets become a better pitching/speed team?
-Tom – Staten Island, NY
There are ways to do this short term, but it’s more of a long term fix. Pitching focused teams can secure a dominant staff through years of drafting. This draft philosophy takes time, but has paid off for teams like Oakland, Toronto, and San Francisco. Signing 30 year old free agents is usually a short term solution and is definitely an expensive one. For 2011 the Mets will look to Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese to make up the bulk of the rotation. With Johan Santana hurt, you’d love to see the new GM get creative in acquiring a big arm. A big sign is a possibility, but it is more likely he will need to trade for a quality starter. An overpaid and under performing starter would be the easiest to acquire. You’d like to see him bring in a mix of inexpensive veterans to compete with farm system standouts for the 5 spot.
The Mets are fast. The top 3 in the lineup are Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, and David Wright. You have plenty of speed there. The new manager is going to be more of the factor here. Instilling aggressive base running from in spring training and calling a game that way can put pressure on defenses. Hit and runs, moving runners over, and so on can force teams to make mistakes. Although their use of speed will be vital, you cannot discount the power outage over the last two years. The Mets will need Bay to hit the long ball and will look for Ike Davis to take another step. Citi Field or not the Mets need some semblance of balance in their lineup. Manufacturing runs with speed will be key, but the occasional 3 run home run has been missing in recent years. .
What do the Mets do with Jason Bay?
-Brian – Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Nothing. He’s a veteran and he’s had a consistently productive career. The Mets have to hope 2010 was a fluke.
What was the bright spot for you in 2010?
-Luke – Valley Stream, Long Island
There were a number of bright spots. As Met fans, we’re very good at being miserable, but some new faces emerged to excite the fan base. In my opinion, there were two huge bright spots in Davis and Dickey. Ike stabilized the defense at first and had rookie production that rivaled Strawberry. He hit moon shots and showed some sparkling defense flipping over rails. He also saved Met fans from a Murphy-Tatis platoon or a year of Mike Jacobs. Dickey was lights out. You can’t say enough about how well he pitched. He’s gone through career adversity and it has made him a cool character on the mound. He is a competitor and seems to have a knack for driving in his own runs with seeing eye singles.
Submit your questions or comments on our Contact page