Aug 17, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcherJenrry Mejia
(58) delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Chicago Cubs won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
5. New York Mets
Even though the New York Mets show up at the bottom of these NL East rankings, this does not mean that their bullpen isn’t talented. New York has some solid young arms that could put them on top of this list in future years. That being said, this is a bullpen with some major flaws.
One of those flaws is closing out games. Last season, the Mets only closed out 66% of their saves, which was tied with the Miami Marlins for the fourth lowest in the division. Mets’ relievers also had the eighth highest FIP last season in all of baseball at 3.88.
Their closer is Jenrry Mejia, a 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Last season, Mejia became the closer after Bobby Parnell underwent Tommy John surgery in April. He had 28 saves in 31 chances, but still had a 3.65 ERA and his FIP was 3.73 (the highest of any closer in the NL East).
That being said, I liked the way Mejia finished his 2014 season, In seven appearance in September, he was 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA and converted all seven of his save opportunities . Plus, his celebrations after saves were very cool and appealing to the new generation of baseball fans.
When I look at the Mets’ bullpen as a whole, one of the relievers I like is Jeurys Familia. The 25-year-old had a 2.21 ERA in 76 appearances last year and held opponents to a .209 batting average (righties hit .134). 26-year-old Vic Black had a 1.09 ERA in the first half of the season before posting a 4.61 ERA after the All-Star Break.
This is a Mets’ bullpen that is filled with a lot of young talent and hard throwing pitchers. If Parnell (30 years old) can stay healthy and turn back into the pitcher that appeared in 49 games in 2013 and had a 2.16 ERA to go with 22 saves, then the bullpen is that much better.
Unfortunately, Fangraphs has New York projected as the second worst bullpen in baseball, only ahead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. While the Mets’ bullpen may be a crutch to their excellent crop of young starters, it is a pen that can definitely improve and maybe surprise some people in 2015.
Next: Number Four?