Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mets Bolster Bullpen with Additions of Blevins and Torres

My firm belief regarding any bullpen at any level of baseball is that it is the ultimate crapshoot. There is never a guarantee that what worked one year will work again the following year. Yet, the Mets carried a preconceived notion into 2015 that their bullpen was rock solid after some surprising performances by some of its younger relievers. 

Yet as Spring Training has worn on, the Mets have learned the hard way. Vic Black is going to start the regular season on the disable list with a shoulder injury, and Josh Edgin is likely to go under the knife and have Tommy John Surgery for ligament damage in his elbow. Suddenly a perceived strength became a weakness. 
Mets hope that Alex Torres can help their lefty-starved pen.

Give Sandy Alderson credit. For a general manager who has been more unwilling than willing to make significant moves to help the major league club in the past, he made a couple of smart moves by acquiring two lefty relievers on Monday. 

First the Mets traded minor leaguer Cory Mazzoni to the San Diego Padres for left-handed reliever Alex Torres, and hours later send Matt den Dekker to the Washington Nationals for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins. Now the Mets went from having no left-handed depth to having plenty. 

Blevins is entering his ninth year of Major League ball, and the Mets will be his third team. He came up with the Oakland Athletics where he won 13 games, and was a pretty steady middle reliever for the A's, before moving East last season. In one year with the Nationals, Blevins was 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA, allowing 31 runs in 57.1 innings. He's a tall, lanky pitcher at 6'6" 190 lbs., but having a veteran lefty is a must for any bullpen, and Blevins will be very valuable to Mets, if he pitches well. 

As for Torres, A.K.A. the guy with the gigantic hat, owns a career 2.55 ERA. At 27, he is still very young and has good potential as a middle innings/late innings reliever. He's also proven to be adept with the strikeout, with 122 Ks in 120 career innings. His one problem last year was walks. He walked 33 in 58 innings last season, so he has a propensity to get himself into some trouble. 

If both Blevins and Torres contribute in a positive fashion for the Mets, it will only give manager Terry Collins more options to use coming out of the bullpen, and we all know the better teams in baseball must be at least 5-6 deep of reliable guys coming out of the pen. 

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