he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Mets First Half Report Card: Relieversh

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mets First Half Report Card: Relievers

Me and every other Met fan is starting to get antsy for the second half of the season, but can you blame us? Nearly every analyist on the market believes that the Mets are kings compared to the rest of the National League, and hopefully the Mets players don't let it get to their head. One of the most important keys to a teams success is their bullpen, and the Mets have quite the strong and deep bullpen.
Duaner Sanchez A-
Not losing for the first half of the season is impressive in it's own right for someone who pitches as much as Sanchez does. Although, what is more impressive is not allowing a run your first 15 innings pitched. Sanchez, 5-0, has been the main set-up man for the Mets with a 2.45 era, and if Wagner goes down or has to leave the team for some reason I would feel just as confident in Duaner Sanchez to secure the W. The only reasons Duaner is not an A is because he is not a closer, so it is hard for me to give a reliever a rating better than someone like Carlos Beltran.
Billy Wagner- B
He has not been as good as advertised, but he has been good despite the for blown saves. He is still on pace for nearl 100 strikeouts, and his era is good. The problem with Wagner isn't what he did, it is what the idea of a good closer is in people's minds. In my mind when Wagner signed I invisioned 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts every night, which obviously has not happened often. Now, he has blown four saves which is the reason for the B rating, but in a lot of his innings he has been good, and he is definitley better than Looper.
Aaron Heilman- B-
If it wasn't for a few nights where Heilman imploded his era would not be as high as it is (4.35). He has been solid this year, although he has hit a rough stretch as of late. However, Heilman has more blown saves then Wagner with five, and he isn't even a closer. Nevertheless I have confidence with Heilman on the mound, and the Mets would not be as good without him.
Pedro Feliciano B -
The other Pedro on the team is pretty good. His dropped arm angle has vastly improved his results, and he is a key core to the Mets bullpen success. Bradford and Feliciano have been a dominant duo against lefties and righties and I would not expect the success to stop any time soon. As long as Feliciano keeps his comments about Willie to himself his grade at the end of the year will be a B+, along with an era below three.
Chad Bradford B -
Like I mentioned with Feliciano, Bradford and Feliciano have been dominant out of the bullpen against left handers and right handers. Bradford, 32, has a 3.48 era this year, and he has been dominant against right handed batters, holding them to a .230 average. With Bradford, Feliciano, Sanchez, Heilman, and Wagner the Mets have a very deep and succesful bullpen. Hopefully the glue sticking this pen together will hold up for the rest of the season.
Darren Oliver B+-
Talk about a secret weapon. Darren Oliver has been the Mets' longman, and then some. His 2.15 era is better than any other pitcher on the Mets staff, and he has pitched more innings then all of them. Oliver's longman success have even had some fans calling for him to become the teams fifth starter over John Maine and Mike Pelfrey. I would not go as far to put im in the rotation yet, I would still rather see Maine and Pelfrey log some major league innings, but if both prospects fail this year in the majors, and Omar can't find another starter I will be the first one on Oliver's bandwagon.
Heath Bell-C+
Bell was the Mets' mini longman, and he pitched in meaningless games or in games when even the longman was too tired to go long. Ok, that's enough use of the word long. Anyway, Bell has been solid, and his velocity has seemingly increased to up around 97 mph. Anyway, with the Mets depth and the way Owens has pitched in his three innings so far I would expect Bell to be the odd man out.
Henry Owens incomplete-
The verdict is still out on Owens, but his 97 mph fastball has been succesful so far. His control has been worse in the majors then in the minors but he probably still has some butterflies to let loose, so his control should settle down. We also saw a nasty but inconnsistent slider in spring training, but he has yet to throw it for a strike yet. Nevertheless, Owens has looked good with his deceptive delivery and fastball, hopefully it will last.
Bartolome Fortunato F-
Three innings pitched, nine earned runs.


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