Thursday, May 17, 2012
Alderson: 'Bullpen has been a frustration'
By Kieran Darcy
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson met with reporters on Thursday morning, about 12 hours after his bullpen blew its ninth save of the season in a 6-3 loss to the Reds.
The nine blown saves are tied for the most in the major leagues.
"The bullpen has been a frustration, there's no question about that," said Alderson. "We made an attempt to fix it (in the offseason), and at this point, it hasn't worked out as well as we would have liked."
Mets relievers are 1-3 with an 8.69 ERA in the past seven games, having given up 19 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings.
"There's plenty of season left, and the guys that we have are not gonna pitch as they have over the last few days for an entire season," added Alderson. "It's not their history, and it's certainly not our expectation."
The Mets made a roster move after Wednesday night's loss, designated reliever D.J. Carrasco for assignment. Carrasco had a 7.36 ERA in four appearances this season, and had given up a home run in each of the past two games.
"At some point you have to start making changes, and last night was a step in that direction," Alderson said. "It's not that we have outstanding candidates in the minor league system at this point. We've got some good candidates, but like a number of our other prospects, (they're) perhaps not ready to pitch as this level."
Alderson is hoping 23-year-old Robert Carson is ready to pitch at the major-league level -- that's who the team called up to replace Carrasco. A lefty, Carson was 0-1 with a 1.84 ERA and one save in 12 appearances for Double-A Binghamton this season. He was also up with the Mets from April 24 to April 26, but did not get in a game.
"I've seen enough of him to know he's got a great arm," said manager Terry Collins of Carson. "He throws 94-95 (miles per hour). Good cutter, good slider. So we're anxious to get him in a game at this level and see how he does."
Alderson was also asked about the progress of Jenrry Mejia, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May. Mejia was just promoted to Binghamton and is scheduled to start for them on Saturday, but Collins acknowledged Wednesday that he could be a bullpen option for the Mets down the road.
"Right now Jenrry will be going to Binghamton for a couple starts, (then) he'll probably go to (Triple-A) Buffalo for a couple of starts," Alderson said. "(But) we're still, in a sense, in a rehab phase with Jenrry. He's only a year out from the surgery."
Alderson talked to the team doctors about Mejia as recently as a couple days ago. "He's a very quick healer, he's done very well," Alderson said. "But at the same time, we need to continue to allow him to pitch on four or five days' rest, so he has a routine -- work on all his pitches, so that he can better master those. And then when we get to the end of that, say, two- to four-start cycle, then we'll decide what he'll be, in terms of role, and where he'll do it."
(The general manager also mentioned that reliever Pedro Beato, on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to March 26 with a shoulder injury, should be ready by the time his required DL stint is up. Beato is currently throwing at extended spring training.)
If you're expecting the Mets to make a bullpen acquisition from outside the organization, don't hold your breath.
"We always look outside, but so are about 25 other teams," Alderson said. "I think actually that I'm more excited if necessary to create opportunity for guys inside the organization. If you look at the rest of the team, that's essentially what's happened."