How the New York Mets Should Use Their Young Relievers

By Paul Festa
Jenrry Mejia
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Today, the New York Mets officially recalled Rafael Montero from Triple-A to take Jenrry Mejia‘s spot in the rotation. Montero will be the first of the “Big Three” pitching prospects to make it to the major leagues, and another, Jacob deGrom, is expected to be promoted soon. DeGrom will be slated for the bullpen. This signals the beginning of a youth movement for the Mets, particularly among their relief pitchers.

Mejia now moves into a role he was hesitant to take. Chances are, he’ll take the place of either Jose Valverde or Kyle Farnsworth — it doesn’t really matter, it’s a coin toss between those two veterans right now. When deGrom comes up, he’ll probably take the place of the other guy.

That means the Mets bullpen will cosist of: Jeurys Familia, Mejia, deGrom, Carlos Torres, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Here’s how they should be used. The closer should be Familia. He’s been hitting 96-98 MPH on the gun lately, and has really found his command. Mejia should set him up. This way, he knows when he needs to be ready, and knows when to warm up, which will hopefully take stress off his arm, avoiding a repeat of what happened when he moved to the bullpen in 2010.

Torres should be the seventh inning guy — he’s been reliable all year. Germen and deGrom should be available for the middle innings. DeGrom in particular, since he can work multiple innings. Dice-K should be the long man, as he should have been all along. He hasn’t been bad, but with his long warmup routine, it’s hard to time when he needs to come in.

It’s time to give the kids some responsibility to see if they’ll sink or swim. The Mets need to find out what they have now. With Matt Harvey coming back next year (if all goes well), the Mets will expect to be contenders. If Harvey’s in the lead role, the Mets need to determine who his supporting actors will be. And who knows, they might even help the 2014 squad surprise some people.

Paul J. Festa is a baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter @pauljfesta and add him on Google.

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