February 06, 2007

Heilman's role

Marty Noble at Mets.com, writes about Aaron Heilman and why his role is so important:

A few other points: Setup relief isn't a one-man assignment. See Jeff Nelson, Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland with the 1996 Yankees and the 2002 Angels with Scott Schoeneweis, Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Troy Percival and in the postseason Francisco Rodriguez.

Some managers would prefer to have their starters pitch into the seventh, but even if that scenario developed regularly, there would still be the need for three relievers to finish the job. That's how the game has evolved. In the Mets' case, with two starters who are 40, older or close to it, and either rookies or pitchers who have proven to be five/six-inning starters -- Oliver Perez and Jorge Sosa -- the reality is that a need exists for more than a closer and one setup man.

Heilman wasn't a middle reliever before Duaner Sanchez's injury last season, he was the seventh-inning guy for the most part. And he will probably serve that purpose again this year

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