Sorting out the Mets’ bullpen.

Francisco Rodriguez got out of it last night, but it got a little dicey in the end. That’s OK, because when it’s anybody else things get a lot dicey.

One of the best things about Mike Pelfrey’s eight-inning gem is it kept Jerry Manuel from going to his combustible bullpen. The bullpen, which started so well in April, has strained from overuse and evolved into a club concern.

RODRIGUEZ: Only sure thing in pen.

Here we are, June, and the Mets are still trying to find and define roles for their relievers, something that should have been done in March. However, because of ineffectiveness and injury, things change.

For one, Hisanori Takahashi, so effective early is not longer in the pen after being thrust into the rotation. How long Takahashi stays there is anybody’s guess. After two strong starts, Takahashi was raked by the Padres Monday night.

Now in the pen, taking up a spot, is Oliver Perez, now the human white flag in that he will come into the game when it is a lost cause or there are no other options, such as a game going long into extra innings.

The concern now is building a strong bridge to Rodriguez.

Before popping his hamstring, Ryota Igarashi was making claims to be the set-up man, and that’s what Manuel hoped when he came off the disabled list just under two weeks ago.
Igarashi has been awful since coming back, with the bottom possibly being reached Monday night when he gave up six runs on four hits and two walks in a mere one-third of an inning.

Three games earlier, in Milwaukee, Igarashi threw away Johan Santana’s gem by giving up a game-ending homer to Corey Hart.

Manuel said the problem is more mechanical than anything, and he won’t work it out any time soon in the eighth inning.

“I still see good arm strength and good arm-speed on his splitter,’’ Manuel said. “But it’s just not having the command. Everything is over the heart of the plate and straight. It doesn’t matter if it’s 96 [mph] or 97, if it’s straight at this level it gets hit.’’

Raul Valdes, who pitched well in relief of John Maine’s five-pitch outing, has been ineffective since. However, Valdes is better suited than anybody right now to assume a long reliever role.

Also spotty is Fernando Nieve, overused in April and early May, is feeling the effects now.
Pedro Feliciano covets the eighth inning, but Manuel is content on using him in a situational role against lefty hitters.

Jenrry Mejia has been reliable, but Manuel wants to hide him from the pressure roles. Manuel said last night in San Diego he’s no longer considering Mejia for the eighth inning, saying “there is a little too much traffic once he takes the mound.’’

Indeed, Mejia’s strikeouts-to-walks ratio is 16-13. Perhaps that will get ironed out the more he pitches as a starter next year.

So, for now, the eighth-inning guy could be Elmer Dessens, who came off the plane from Buffalo and gave up the game-winning hit in the first Yankee game.

I’m comforted. Are you?

14 thoughts on “Sorting out the Mets’ bullpen.

  1. I am afraid., I thought for sure they wrecked it for Pelf. and why couldnt he get a complete game after pitching a great effing game?>
    i sk again why?

  2. sure it makes sense.. k-rod is the closer and Pelf threw 110. whoa cant get to 120 thats just crazy talk. As I said before there’s no reward system for Manuel. Pelf showed NO SIGN of tiring or throwing poorly.
    K-Rod gets in and gives up how many hits??? and thats ok?
    If I was a starter I would wonder what the point is. here Pelf threw better ball than Santana and he wasnt left in to finish. if at anytime a pitcher earned a complete last night was it. Who can defend manuel’s decision?

  3. (4) Let’s talk about Player X. When X was 21, he was allowed to throw more than 100 pitches in 20 of his starts, including seven times over the 110-pitch threshold.

    At 22, X went over 100 pitches 17 times, including five starts of more than 110 pitches.

    At 23, X went over 100 pitches 25 times, including 13 starts in the 110-119 range, and two starts above 120 pitches.

    At 24, X went over 100 pitches 29 times, including 12 starts in the 110-119 range, and six starts above 120 pitches. Over a 24-start stretch at the age of 24, X _averaged_ 118 pitches per start.

    Between the ages of 21-24, X was among the league leaders in various categories, including wins, IP, W-L pct, strikeouts, complete games, WHIP, et al.

    At 25, X’s ERA went up by 1.30. By ages 26-27, he was struggling to keep his ERA below 7. By age 28, it wasn’t clear whether he’ll continue to be a big-league pitcher.

    I’m pretty sure that when he was throwing all those pitches between 21-24, he showed NO SIGN of tiring or throwing poorly.

  4. and let me see um Jack La Lane has been doing the same workout and pulling boats for um 80 or more years.

    then explain nolan ryan, tom glavine and pedro martinez? all pitched into and past 30’s and 40s.

    it isnt the count its the individual and the routine.. but yeah i know .. you have numbers I dont.

  5. (6) Steve — Will you pulling boats when you’re 80, or is it safe to say that Jack LaLanne is an outlier?

    It’s fun to throw out exceptions to the rule, but you really can’t count on your players being those exceptions.

    The data (which is readily available to you, should you choose to review it) suggests that stress is most prevalent after 100 pitches and with arms under 25.

  6. 7. outliers? the same can be said for the 3 pitchers you throw at us about having bad arms because of the pitch count.

    No the bulk of the major league pitchers are actually fine and not invalids and regret nothing about their pitching career and as a matter of fact hate the pitch count.

    yeah under 25. 14 year old kid. yeah i would agree i dont think a 5th grader should be throwing 200 pitches. a grown man is another story.

  7. (8) No, Steve — if the majority of major-league pitchers weren’t facing these odds, their organizations would most assuredly by throwing them out there for those 150-pitch marathons you desire.

    I could give you example after example of young arms being burnt out by overuse — but what’s the point, if you already believe what you want to believe? I mean, it’s not like there’s any monetary benefit to convincing you, is there? More likely, I’d be wasting my time, no?

    The data doesn’t focus on 14-yr-olds; it focuses on _professional_ pitchers.

    Major-league pitchers don’t regret their pitch counts? Al Leiter _always_ talks about the time Dallas Green left him out there for more than 160 pitches and how he was never the same pitcher thereafter. David Cone talks about the time Jeff Torborg left him out there for more than 140 pitches on a cold day.

    Not for nothing, but some of these claims being advanced are borderline comical.

  8. 9.) thats interesting because Ron darling, Doc and Cone never complain about davy leaving them for 150+ .. very interesting indeed.

    you keep talking about this fictitious data, when i try to look it up, it all pertains to softball and little league. hence my 14 year old comment.

    yes tiffany we all know you won and love the pitch count. It’s your pet project to win us over. Please I am a lost cause so please don’t waste your valuable time trying to convince me.

    game starts and its my birthday and i want santana to win this one for me.

  9. (10) I’ll stop trying to overcome your ignorance if you stop posting it. Deal?

  10. 11. you know what, harry i am tired of your attitude. I have never called you ignorant while you post as tiffany only as harry. continue talking like him and i will treat you the same.

  11. (12) I’m not Harry. But if you don’t want to talk about pitch counts, then perhaps you should stop mentioning them, eh?

  12. I miss you Tiffany.. As for the most ignorant poster in the free world, how does it feel to be the BFF of an unemployed former beat writer, losing 90% of his clicks because of your ignorant or is it first grade mentality. You can call Tiffany whatever you want C , it just shows what a total loser uyou are in every regard, and your other post about what you’de be doing after the game, you wife should Bobbitt you for doing that ona web saite you are filth….but you are still a struggling info specialist who barely can make ends meet and are just jeolous of all the millionaires who get treated with kid gloves by their employers for a a reason you cannot comprehend. But the reason C is that they have a value to their company while you have no value and are replacebale by thousands of fellow losers from whatever tech academy ripped them off with promises of great paying jobs. So lay off tiffany and try to learn from her brain which has 100 times the absorption capacity of yours . By the way big talking no action loser when you showing up? Never, Delcos enjoy your bff, you have lowered your writing to his first greade one track misinformed mind that enjoys ignorance morethan anything else.
    Tiffany they still have those same dancing ads at the lohud site.