Saturday, January 28, 2006

Which of the 15 candidates will make it to the final round of "Be A Member of the Mets Bullpen "06"?

This is the second in a series of 10 questions about the Mets roster for the upcoming season.

Like "The Price Is Right", the Mets bullpen is laden with potential contestants. However, this year, it seems more like a "Top Contestant" version, as we are finally filled with a lot of live arms and great potential. Omar has rightly identified the bullpen as both our biggest failing last year, as well as being the seemingly most important part of a successful ballclub (though that's an argument for another day). As the late Rod Roddy would say, "would the next contestant for the bullpen is right- COME ON DOWN!!!"

Sure Things:
Billy Wagner
Jorge Julio
Duaner Sanchez

Good Bets:
Heath Bell
Chad Bradford
Steve Schmoll
Yusaku Iriki

Longer Shots:
Bartolome Fortunato
Juan Padilla
Jose Parra
Matt Parisho
Jason Scobie
Mike Venafro

Not Likely:
Royce Ring
Matt Lindstrom
Anderson Garcia
Henry Owens
Juan Perez
Mitch Wylie
Rafael Cova
Tim Lavigne

The best bet of all is that the Mets will begin the year with 12 pitchers, including 7 in the bullpen. As some games are played, we might realize that either Schmoll or Bradford is a luxury, as the idea of 2 submariners on one staff is more than unusual. The nice thing, for a change, is that there is actually some decent talent on the bubble, like Parisho, Padella, Fortunato and Venafro. Also, for the first time, ever, we actually have 3 guys at the same time who can bring it over 95 mph (Wagner, Sanchez & Julio). If Peterson can work his magic, and Willie becomes better at handling the bullpen (highly likely with tons more to work with and one, solid closer), this could prove to be one of, if not the best, bullpens in the game. Again, Omar has created an interesting team, to say the least. Now let's pray for some Met-like magic out there...

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