Slowly but surely, the New York Mets have put the right personnel in their bullpen, and despite their recent skid, it’s been beneficial for the team to have a contingent of young flamethrowers in the relief corps. Now, the team can start cutting ties with the weak links of the bullpen, starting with lefty Scott Rice.
Rice has been a great story as he made a major league roster for the first time in 2013 after 14 years in the minors, and he’s certainly had his moments over the past year and a half. However, he has his flaws and he simply doesn’t fit what the Mets should be trying to do with their bullpen.
He’s made 32 appearances this season, but has only pitched a total of 13.2 innings. In that time, Rice has walked 12 and put up an ERA of 5.93, with a WHIP of 1.98. Those numbers are unacceptable even for a lefty specialist, especially since there have been many occasions when Rice has been brought in to face a lone left-handed hitter, only to walk him, which is beyond unacceptable.
The Mets don’t exactly have an overabundance of lefty relievers, but Josh Edgin has returned to the form he had earlier in his career since getting promoted, and he looks poised to take over as the Mets’ primary lefty specialist out of the bullpen. Even if they were to part ways with Rice, the Mets could have Dana Eveland as a second lefty in the bullpen, while prospect Jack Leathersich has shown signs of being able to contribute out of the bullpen at some point this season as a lefty reliever.
Rice isn’t young, he doesn’t throw particularly hard, he hasn’t been effective this season; and he likely doesn’t have a long-term future with the Mets. These are all reasons why it’s time for the team to part ways with him. With Gonzalez Germen expected to rejoin the team soon after an extended stint on the DL, now is the perfect time to ditch Rice. The Mets will still have two lefties in Edgin and Eveland, while Germen can make them less reliant on lefty specialists due to his great changeup.
Rice has had a nice run with the Mets over the last year and a half, and he’s created a nice story after such a long journey in the minor leagues. However, he’s not been effective this season and the Mets’ bullpen can survive without him, so it’s time to part ways with him and continue building a bullpen that’s filled with young, hard-throwing relief pitchers.
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