New York Mets Season Preview: The Bullpen
The New York Mets’ bullpen has a lot of room for improvement after last season. The team’s starting pitching was the strongest part of the club last year, but the bullpen continually failed them. New York’s bullpen finished second to last in the MLB in overall efficiently last year, prompting the team to overhaul it as they hope to improve this season.
General manager Sandy Alderson picked up a group of veteran relievers on cheap short-term deals. The team signed Pedro Feliciano, Brandon Lyon, LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison this offseason, and all with the exception of Feliciano will be on the Opening Day roster. Lyon, Hawkins and Atchison have all been effective this Spring Training.
The hard-throwing Bobby Parnell has replaced Frank Francisco, who struggled as the team’s closer last season. Francisco is still with the team, but is recovering from the injury that ended his year last season and will start the season on the disabled list. Parnell struggled last season as the team’s closer after Francisco went down, but has looked strong this spring.
The Mets bullpen will likely improve this year because it cannot get much worse. They have focused their offseason on improving one of their biggest weaknesses, and should see the benefits when their starters leave games.
Perhaps the best story of the bullpen going into the season is Scott Rice, who has spent 14 years in the minor leagues but will get his chance in the majors this year. Rice joins a mix of unproven and veteran arms in the Mets’ pen, which needs to be effective for the team to have any type of success this season.