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Mets Bullpen: Go With Izzy Over Boyer



By Mike Silva ~ March 26th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

It’s always a good sign when you have too many options, which is the case for Terry Collins as there are nine potential candidates for seven spots in his bullpen. To date, K-Rod, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, D.J. Carrasco, and Taylor Buchholz are all on the 40 man roster so, if healthy, each will be coming north with the club. That leaves Pedro Beato, Blaine Boyer, camp surprise Jason Isringhausen, and Manny Acosta vying for the two final spots.

On a Thursday conference call Sandy Alderson sounded like he was leaning towards keeping both his Rule V draft picks (Emaus, Beato), so I expect Beato to take one of those two final spots. His arm is too good not to give him every opportunity to make it this season. That leaves Isringhausen, Boyer, and Acosta for the seventh slot.

Normally I would prefer a second lefty, but the above three are throwing well, and very likely will be lost if they don’t make the ballclub. I never have been a fan of Acosta, a hard thrower, but one that lacks command and is prone to the long ball. That leaves the people’s choice of Isringhausen versus Boyer.

The Mets have been impressed by both. However neither will likely take a demotion to Buffalo. Isringhausen has already been torn about his comeback since he’s got a family at home he misses. There is also that surgically repaired elbow that could go at any time. The next setback probably means the end of his career. Boyer’s strikeout rate has dropped in half since injuring his shoulder in 2006. The Mets are excited by his spring performance, but this is still a player that walks batters at a high rate (3.7 per nine) throughout his career. Regardless, his end of March opt out means another club short on pitching could sign him.

Losing Boyer might not be the biggest deal. There are some kids that could step in and do a similar job this year. John Lujan, Josh Stinson, and Manual Alvarez come to mind. Boof Bonser is more of a starter, but he could relieve if necessary. If Isringhausen bombs I probably would prefer they call up a second lefty (i.e. Mike O’Connor) since Buchholz, Beato, and Parnell are probably more than suffice from the right side.

The upside with Isringhausen is you have an experienced closer that can potentially be the eighth inning setup man. He’s also a great individual who can mentor some of the young kids as well. Someone told me recently that Isringhausen is about as “mentally tough as they come.” Those are the kind of guys I would want rounding out my ballclub.

Since Boyer has an opt out next week it’s no sure bet he will catch on with another team. Other teams have roster decisions just like the Mets. Knowing the injury history of Isringhausen and Buchholz it might be wise to be the first call up at Buffalo.

One final option is to ask Isringhausen to report to extended spring with a May 1st opt out date. It gives Izzy some time to insure he’s healthy, and the Mets a month to evaluate their bullpen.

In the end I predict Isringhausen’s experience will land him the final spot if he is healthy.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Mets Bullpen: Go With Izzy Over Boyer

  1. Jay

    This is precisely the way I hope it works out as well. Acosta and Boyer are both useful parts but are hardly irreplaceable and neither offer the intangibles that Izzy brings to the table.

    Other clubs will be faced with similar roster logjams and for every Acosta or Boyer that the Mets might lose a reasonable facsimile of them will be cut by some other team and the Mets can likely sign one or more such relievers to a MiLB contract over the next two weeks.

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