The New York Mets have spent this offseason revamping their bullpen, that ranked 29th in the league in overall efficiency last season. New York has brought in veteran relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano and Brandon Lyon on one-year contracts this offseason. However, the strength of the bullpen might have to come from the Mets’ incumbent relievers.
Frank Francisco is coming off the worst season of his career, as he posted a 5.53 ERA and ended the season on the disabled list. Francisco’s inflamed elbow that ended his season is apparently still bothering the closer coming into spring training. The Mets were already planning on having an open competition for the closer role, and Francisco’s injury hurts his chances of retaining his spot.
Brandon Lyon will have a chance to become the closer if he has an incredible spring training, but the job is Bobby Parnell’s to lose. Parnell has only gone 14 for 31 in save chances in his Mets’ career, but the team is confident in the hard throwing right hander, officially naming him the closer if Francisco is not ready for Opening Day. Parnell finished last season as the closer after Francisco went down, and accumulated seven total saves.
Closer has been a difficult position for the Mets for nearly a decade. They have landed big names such as Billy Wagner and Francisco Rodriguez, but neither lived up to their contracts or hype. Parnell has the potential to be a great closer, but has to be more consistent if the Mets want to improve their bullpen.