Goodbye to Ruddy Lugo

Ruddy Lugo pitching for the MetsIf you hadn’t heard, Ruddy Lugo was reassigned to minor league camp. This wasn’t a tremendous surprise, since he wasn’t showing great command in his outings, and had seemingly fallen behind Nelson Figueroa, Steven Register, Joe Smith, and Joselo Diaz (at minimum).

In addition, Carlos Muniz and Willie Collazo were reassigned, further culling the bullpen competition.

Meanwhile, Figueroa continues to impress and may have an outside shot at the long relief job — particularly since Tony Armas, Jr. just arrived in camp over the weekend and has little chance of earning an MLB spot in the last dozen days of spring training. Though, Figgy still has to fight off Brian Stokes and Nate Field, and the Mets have to decide what they’re going to do with Register, Jorge Sosa, Scott Schoeneweis, and Ricardo Rincon. If The Show can be moved, Rincon — who has looked better — should remain as the LOOGY. Similarly, if Sosa is traded, then Register and/or Joe Smith would probably win jobs — or Figgy could get the last spot.

We’ll know in less than two weeks.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude March 17, 2008 at 9:31 am
    I’m not as enthralled with Rincon as you are, Joe. His good outings this Spring have come mainly against minor league players. Willie left him in against a right-handed heavy Cardinals lineup on Saturday and proceeded to get rocked for 4 runs while getting just one out. Meantime, Schoeneweis has cruised through 7 innings this spring striking out 10 with a 1.29 ERA and getting both lefties (which we knew he could do) and righties (which is a pleasant surprise) out. I know I’m using ‘stats’ instead of ‘stuff’ to base my opinion, but despite throwing ‘slop,’ Show is showing is stuff works. If the Mets can trade him and shed his contract (and get a right handed 1B/OF in the process), I’m all for it. But I’m not sure Rincon is necessarily a better option. If his only role were to be to get lefties out, then I think he’d be fine. But we all know Willie would overuse or incorrectly use him, which would make his contributions obsolete. And I think considering the realistic likelihood of trading the Show, we should probably just comes to terms that he’s going to be in the pen for most, if not all, or 2008.
  2. joe March 17, 2008 at 10:50 am
    Well … to me, The Show looks slightly worse than he did last year. Last year, he was at least getting into the upper 80s and now he’s barely touching the mid 80s. It could be that he needs time to build up his arm strength … after all, Billy Wags won’t be in the upper 90s until late May.

    But, I remember Rincon back in 2003-2004, when he was past his prime but still getting MLB hitters out fairly consistently, and to me he looks like he’s recaptured the magic — or at least, close to it.

    You’re right, though … if Rincon pitches well, Willie will over-expose him as he does with any pitcher he deems as “hot”. But if we can get something in return for The Show — and I think we can — then I’d rather take Rincon as the overused LOOGY AND whatever the Mets can get for Show rather than the alternative.

    Dozen of one, 12 of the other, is what it comes down to, I suppose.