“I will be the closer,” he reiterated. “That’s my mentality.”
Francisco was shut down in September last year with right elbow soreness. He had surgery in December to remove a bone spur. Francisco threw for 15 minutes in the outfield in Port St. Lucie, and said he will be ready for Opening Day.
However, last week on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove, Sandy Alderson said he is not comfortable with Francisco being his team’s closer.
“I don’t know if we can have a lot of confidence in where we are,” he said. “I hope that Frankie is able to step up.”
Terry Collins agreed with Francisco’s self-assessment, though, telling Kernan, “He is the closer. We saw last year when he is right, he is good. … He is in the right frame of mind.’’
Nevertheless, despite reports linking the Mets to Jose Valverde and Francisco Rodriguez, Alderson recently said he will be done acquiring relievers if he’s able to finalize a contract with free-agent Brandon Lyon.
Francisco was 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in 48 relief appearances last season.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
I’ll believe in Francisco when I see him pitch well for an extended period without getting injured, because that is something I’ve yet to witness. Frankly, Francisco is three or four years removed from his best work, and even that wasn’t that great. I just don’t see him as the impact pitcher these guys seem to think he can be. I hope a deal gets done with Lyon, because they need the help. I like how Alderson has approached the bullpen, it’s a numbers game and a crap shoot for every team, no matter what you spend, so the more arms the better.