September 13, 2007

A look at the Playoff Pen

A quality start is considered six full innings in which only three earned runs or less are allowed. For the most part the Mets starters have been able to accomplish this task; Tom Glavine, John Maine and Oliver Perez all should finish the season with 15 wins each. But that still leaves the the relievers with three innings to pitch. Billy Wagner, despite his late August stumbled has been the best pitcher out of the pen and a solid closer all year long. Aaron Heilman has inherited the eighth inning setup role, while I'd like a future closer in the eighth, Heilman has been at least serviceable, except for the big homerun from time to time. When Heilman's off he doesn't give up a solo shot, it's generally a multi-run homer in a tight game.

The pen went from being the strongest component of last years team to the weakest link in this year's. If last year's team went into the sixth with the lead you felt the game was over, but this year you want the offense to continue to build on a lead because you never know how many will be enough.

The team has never been able to establish a seventh inning guy. Pedro Feliciano looked like he was ready to step up from a LOOGY to a set-up guy, but down the stretch he has had several inconsistent outings. Willie has gone back to using him as a LOOGY and there have been a few occasions (last night) where he has walked the lefty.

Mota was suppose to be the guy, in fact I think they thought he was going to be the set-up man with Heilman picking up the seventh. Mota has great stuff and when he's on, he teases you with how good he could be. But he just can't put it together consistently and goes through stretches where he has multiple run innings.

Jorge Sosa looks solid since moving from the rotation to the pen, in fact in August Willie relied on him heavily and he responded well. I think they've used him less to rest him for the playoffs and evaluate the other relievers.

Aarron Sele and Scott Schoeneweis clearly don't have the confidence of Manager Willie Randolph. I can understand why Sele isn't trusted he has appeared in 31 games this year and allowed earned runs in 20 of them. His scoreless appearances are scattered throughout the season, Sele hasn't done well converting into a long reliever from a starter. But Schoeneweis hasn't pitched in ten days and prior to that, in his last 15 games he has had only one bad outing. I'm not sure if his knee is bothering him, there resting him for the playoff run or Willie just doesn't trust him.

Sele shouldn't make the playoff roster, I would use Mike Pelfrey out of the pen as a ROOGY or mop up guy instead if the spot is available. If they decide to go with a six man bench then the fifth starter would replace Sele and I would strongly consider Pelfrey instead of Mota. Humber and Collazo look to be the only other alternatives and they don't look ready. I was hoping Joe Smith would return but it looks like the injury has put him too far behind.

Heilman-setup man
Sosa-7th inning
Feliciano- LOOGY
Schoeneweis - early innings, LOOGY after Feliciano's been used
Mota or Pelfrey- finish the 6th or ROOGY
Maine- emergency starter ( anything before the 6th)

That pen allows the Mets to carry a six bench players;


Here's my question to the readers if El Duque can't go because of the foot making the rotation Pedro-Glavine-Maine-Perez, assuming Pelfrey replaces Sele who would you want in the pen Mota, Sele or Humber.....

My vote would be Humber just to get the kid experience....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would use Sosa for 2 innings and skip Heilman-he scares me.