The Bullpen Option

I know I’m a bit of a broken record on moving starters to the bullpen and vice versa, but I would feel a lot better about the Mets keeping Orlando Hernandez around if I thought there was at least a reasonable possibility that he could be shifted to the pen if needed (I gather he was not happy pitching relief with the White Sox). Hernandez is ideally suited to middle relief work, as he eats up righthanders and his unorthodox motion will be quite off-putting to a hitter who has taken a few at bats already against someone else. I looked at his career record and if you count the postseason, Hernandez has made 10 career relief appearances (mainly with the White Sox, and half of them in October). The results? 0.76 ERA in 23.2 IP, 24/8 K/BB ratio, and just 11 hits allowed (2 of them solo homers). I’m not saying it has to be done ASAP, but with the departure of Bradford, Hernandez signed to a two-year deal and a bunch of young arms on the way, that has to be an option the Mets should consider down the road.

4 thoughts on “The Bullpen Option”

  1. You know what’s sad? Anyone reading this who is under 20 would have no idea what a “broken record” is.

  2. There’s another reason to stockpile starters in the bullpen. Just look at what happened in San Diego this past year. Their opening day rotation consisted of Peavy, Young, Estes, Brazelton and rookie Thompson, who won the fifth spot with a hot spring training performance. They had a triple-A starter in the bullpen (Hensley) and two leftover starters, Woody Williams and Chan Ho Park, joining him. Estes made three starts and was finished for the year, Brazelton pitched like he was in Tampa Bay and got demoted, and Thompson looked like rookie in over his head and also got demoted. Hensley replaced Estes and developed into a good starter in the second half, Woody replaced Brazelton and had twelve wins, and Park replaced Thompson and ate up innings.
    Orlando sounds like a potentially productive middle reliever, but he’s also insurance. It’s not like the Mets will break camp with durable starters they can depend on all year.

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