LaTroy Hawkins Better Closer Option Than Committee

Isn’t it always the way with the New York Mets? There’s positives brewing, but something always seems to get in the way, such as Bobby Parnell’s bulging disk.

HAWKINS: Best option for closer.

HAWKINS: Best option for closer.

Once pegged to lose 100 games, the Mets are talking about .500 and finishing in second place in the NL East, but gone is Parnell, probably for the year if surgery is required.

The Mets’ bullpen has been stellar since the beginning of July, but there’s only one real choice to replace Parnell and that would be 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins instead of going with a bullpen-by-committee, which rarely works and usually ends up using guys outside of their customary roles.

Hawkins saved the last two games of the Colorado series, and has 90 saves in his career. Not great over 19 years, but it is the best the Mets have going for them right now.

Hawkins struggled early in the season, but has been consistently effective. He has experience pitching in tight games, and Terry Collins has more trust in him than in Scott Atchison or Scott Rice or Pedro Feliciano.

Even at 40, Hawkins was throwing in the mid-90s against the Rockies. He can still bring it when he has to, and averages 6.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and only 1.6 walks per nine innings.

Perhaps Hawkins will eventually run on fumes, but if the Mets are cognizant about not getting him up constantly, and perhaps occasionally let their set-up reliever work into the ninth if there’s a three-run lead, it could preserve him.

Collins’ bullpen has been exceptional over the past month, but now he must make a significant choice: Does he go the committee route or give his trust to Hawkins?

The thought of saving Zack Wheeler’s innings by using him in relief is not a good idea as the change in routine creates the possibility of injury. And, please, nobody mention Frank Francisco. Please.

Hawkins has pitched well and is deserving of closing until he can’t it anymore.

I don’t think there’s any doubt Hawkins has to be the closer until Parnell returns, which as of now looks to be next spring.

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to answer them. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

8 thoughts on “LaTroy Hawkins Better Closer Option Than Committee

  1. I want to keep Zach where he is. He is getting better and needs to learn to pitch. Making him a reliever will not help. We need him to be a major contributor next season and having him progress this year is best for him and the team.

    We also should not think of moving Mejia to that role either.

    I will mention Francisco and Pedro. What happened to Pedro? Last I heard he was always in rehab. Frank can help us. He has a live arm and can get outs. Yes. He is a heart attack, but he can help.

  2. My opinion is LaTroy is by far a more reliable closer than anyone else in that bullpen now. He is a veteran, he knows how to close a game and I don’t think he gets rattled the way the others do in those pressure situations. Now as far as the above writer goes, he asks “what has happened to Pedro? Last I heard he was always in rehab”. Call me crazy, but the last I looked he was IN THE METS BULLPEN!!! Not in rehab, but in the METS BULLPEN! It’s always good hearing from fans that are up on the latest news. I think the plan for Pedro is to try and limit his appearences and pitches as he builds up his arm strength even more. He’s looked great so far, so it looks like they are doing the right thing with him.