Monday, December 28, 2009

The Real Case for Joe Smith

Nobody is screaming for the Mets to get another relief pitcher this offseason because last season was what that was for. But the back-end of the Mets bullpen didn't live up to the hype. JJ Putz was injured and has left to the White Sox, K-Rod fell apart after the Luis Castillo FAIL, and the Mets didn't have a primary set-up option.

2010 looks like it will feature Ryota Igarashi who was strong in Japan but hasn't played in the MLB. Kelvim Escobar will look to come back from 2 years of injury and possibly fit in the bullpen. Otherwise, the 2010 bullpen will look pretty much like 2009.

Joe Smith could be a nice addition to the 2010 bullpen. He is the same type of pitcher as Sean Green but at multiple points of the season we were all calling for Green's disappearance. I don't have the numbers but could Sean Green really be making too much money to release him? Really? It would be nice for the Mets to have a consistent sidearm pitcher.

But what about Pedro Feliciano? Pedro is a lefty sidearm pitcher. Joe is a righty sidearm pitcher. Pedro has proven he can get both righty and lefty hitters out, while Joe has not. He would still stay as the primary lefty specialist because I don't know of another lefty reliever on the market, but Joe would move into the righty specialist role, lifting some of the work from the righties Feliciano would face.

The Mets still need a set-up man in the bullpen. That's what Bobby Parnell would work as. The Mets tried putting him in as a starter and he showed flashes of greatness but it was mostly a failure. B-Parnz showed much more as a reliever and could be a really good set-up guy. Yeah, yeah, you're all going to say he's too young. So, use Brian Stokes as the set-up guy going into the season and Bobby Parnell once the season gets going and he has become comfortable pitching in the bullpen. AND MAKE SURE B-PARNZ KNOWS HE'S GOING TO STAY IN THE BULLPEN!!! I don't want anymore of the back-and-forth between the rotation and bullpen.

Joe was consistent in 2009. He was injured but it was mostly bad luck. He had a freak setback in Spring Training when he got the viral infection and another freak injury ended his season when he tripped down the stairs and needed knee surgery. He did suffer a shoulder injury but came back from that well until the knee injury. Joe had an ERA under 2.80 in June, July, and August. Can K-Rod say that??

I really don't think the Indians have any special attachment to Joe Smith, so it really shouldn't take a lot to get him back. But if they were attached to him, I'd be flattered. The Indians have Justin Masterson anyway, and he is basically the same as Joe. They even have the same birthday.

Oh yeah, Joe was really good friends with Pelf and Mainer and could possibly lead to their success.

So, that's my bullpen layout for 2010. Hopefully it could realistically include Joe Smith.

Let's Go Mets!

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