Monday, January 02, 2006

What Do You Think of The Mets Bullpen?

This has been a question for the ages - What Do You Think of The Mets Bullpen? Or, more aptly put, "Why can't the Mets put together a complete bullpen?" Or " Do the Mets' plans actually take into consideration that thing they call a bullpen?"

Well, lest we think Mr. Minaya has left us to struggle over these age-old questions, he has provided us with a bullpen made up of the following:

Heath Bell - R/R

Chad Bradford - R/R

Bartolome Fortunato - R/R

Tim Hamulack - L/L

Aaron Heilman - R/R

Juan Padilla - R/R

Royce Ring - L/L

Billy Wagner - L/L


Victor Zambrano - S/R

Admittedly, this is not the greatest bullpen in creation, but it is head and shoulders above their usual make-up. In fact, even before the inevitable acquisition of Julian Tavarez, this collection of arms looks like one of the better ones in the National League. Wagner is a superstar, and if he stays healthy (please, big guy above, hear our prayers!), he will be the most exciting closer NY has ever seen, this side of Mariano. Heilman is as good a set-up man as there is, creating memories of the recent Mota-Gagne tandem in Los Angeles of a few years ago. Ring, Bell (ring my bell) and Fortunato are contending for what will likely be one spot, and Padilla and Bradford are probably locks. That leaves a space for long-reliever/starter Zambrano, as long as they don't need him in the rotation (yes, it's sad that all we got for Kazmir is a future long-reliever / spot starter, which is why you don't want to start me on the potential trade of Heilman and Milledge- so just read my previous post in the form of an open letter to Omar Minaya). Overall, this weakness has suddenly become a team strength (add dashes of Wilpon's cash and Minaya's negotiating savvy) and there's one less area to worry upon. Okay, worry all you want, as you are, of course a Mets fan, but at least this is ONE area where your worries are less needed than normal. Tomorrow, we'll discuss the rotation...

With the addition of Sanchez, and the subtraction of Hamulack, the vastly improved Mets bullpen looks like this:

Bell / Bradford / Fortunato / Sanchez / Schmoll / Padilla / Ring / Heilman / Wagner with Zambrano becoming the 5th starter until/ unless someone else is brought in.

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