If you're a Mets fan, you know that the word bullpen does not bring back fond memories
Names like Manny Acosta, D.J. Carrasco, and Jason Isringhausen can make you cringe. The sight of Terry Collins walking out to the mound will make you change the channel.
This year there have been numerous bright spots in the pen and here are my grades for the 2013 Mets bullpen pitchers.
Bobby Parnell: B-
Bobby Parnell is not a long term solution at the closers role. Parnell is a natural starter with 93 minor league starts under his belt who was moved to the bullpen in 2010 due to a full rotation. He just simply does not have the stuff to be out in the same conversation as fellow NL East closers Craig Kimbrel, Jon Papelbon, Rafael Soriano, heck even Steve Cishek. Parnell currently sits 21st in saves and his four losses sit him tied for second among fellow closers. The losses are the only thing holding him back from a B but all in all, Parnell's season has been mediocre at best.
LaTroy Hawkins: A-
LaTroy Hawkins has been the most reliable arm out of the pen all season. Hawkins got off to a great start to the year holding a scoreless innings streak from April 16th to May 8th. He also did not allow a base on balls in his first 17 games, bringing him to a 3.67 SO/BB ratio, good for third on the team. His 3.20 ERA is stellar for a Mets pitcher and his 3-1 record is a nice sample size. Props to Sandy Alderson for bringing Hawkins in this year and props to LaTroy for keeping himself in shape at age 40.
Scott Rice: B-
Scott Rice made the team out of Spring Training and made his major league debut on Opening Day after a 14 year Minor League career. Rice is currently sitting at 48 games played which puts him on pace for a franchise record. The strategy of bringing Rice in every night worked for a while; he breezed through April and got through May, but has since been downgraded from an-inning-every-day duties to the Mets LOOGY (Left handed One Out GuY). His 4.46 ERA isn't dazzling anybody right now and his sub .500 winning percentage for a reliever is not what this team needs at this point in the season. Rice's spectacular April is the only thing holding his grade in the B percentile.
Josh Edgin; B
Josh Edgin struggled. He struggled mightily. So much that he was demoted after 11 games with a 9.64 ERA on April 26th. The lefty who made his debut just after the 2012 All Star break was recalled and made his first appearance on June 11. Edgin has since pitched beautifully, allowing only one run in 17 games. His recent performance has lowered his ERA to 4.18. I would be completely satisfied if Edgin continues to be the number one southpaw out of the pen for the remainder of the season if he can pitch like he is now.
David Aardsma: B+
David Aardsma was recalled on June 8th and made his Mets debut in the 12th inning of the 20 inning game on the same day. He has only allowed three runs in 15.1 innings this season, good for a 2.35 ERA on the year. Aardsma's ability to keep teams off the scoreboard makes him deserving of an A but the fact that he manages to allow at least two hits every other appearance puts him at a B+. The lower grade also is due to his inability to keep the ball in the park; two of the three runs he's allowed have come off the long ball.
Carlos Torres: A
Carlos Torres has now entered the Mets rotation but until he makes his first start this weekend, Torres is a reliever. Torres has been absolutely spectacular in his 10 games with the Mets. He has only allowed one run which ended up being a walk-off home run to the Phillies Kevin Frandsen. That has led Torres to a dazzling 0.58 ERA. The one downside to his game is the hits. He has given up 13 in 17.2 innings.