During last night’s broadcast, Sandy Alderson said he expects to go into Spring Training with a similar rotation to what is in place now, citing the need for growth among pitchers such as Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese. However, he also spoke about the importance of knowing who the closer will be before the season starts and suggested next season’s closer is not currently on the roster.
Currently, R.A. Dickey, D.J. Carrasco, and Tim Byrdak are pitchers who have major league contracts for next season.
The starting rotation hasn’t gotten the consistent length they’ve needed and it’s hard to constantly rely on secondary relievers on a regular basis, especially in the Mets bullpen, which was a glaring weakness before Opening Day. The problem is, with a thin group of free agent pitchers available and most of the Mets pitching prospects still at the lower levels of the system, Alderson really has no choice but to bring most of his starters back; or at least try and find similar starters to Chris Capuano or Chris Young, i.e., high upside opportunities with various kinds of baggage.
As far as the bullpen is concerned, while I think there will need to be some growth from internal relievers, I expect Alderson to work hard at reconstructing that part of the staff, which has been fairly inconsistent for most of the season.
Last night, Alderson said next year’s closer is not yet in the organization. So, I could see the Mets signing a high-upside guy to a short term, incentive-laden deal, such as a Brad Lidge or Jonathan Broxton. But no matter who is closing games for the Mets next year, they have to do a better job of getting the ball to him.
Coming into play today, the Mets have a 4.20 team ERA, which is seventh worst in the major leagues. Their .264 opposing batting average is fifth worst in the major leagues.