Free Relief Pitching Options
It appears that the Mets are going to wing it with a combination of Scott Schoeneweis, Pedro Feliciano, Joe Smith, and possibly Ambiorix Burgos to back up Aaron Heilman in the setup / 8th-inning role — at least until Guillermo Mota returns.
However, Omar is no doubt on the phone looking to make a deal, and checking the waiver wire for last-minute releases.
Some intriguing possibilties include:
– Scott Strickland, waived by the Padres
– Dustin Hermanson, who after a poor spring lost an attempt to win the closer’s job for the Cincinnati Reds, and requested a release rather than demotion to the minors
– Todd Williams, who was sent down by the Baltimore Orioles, and for some reason has been on the Mets radar recently
– Ron Villone, who was released by the Yankees
– Dan Kolb, who was sent down to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates
– Ricardo Rincon, who was released by the St. Louis Cardinals
– Dan Miceli, released by the Devil Rays
– Felix Rodriguez, released by the Marlins
– Danny Graves, released by the Rockies
– Aaron Small, assigned to minor league camp by the Mariners
Chances are, none of the above arms are better than what the Mets already have in-house. Certainly, the return of Danny Graves is as likely as scheduling Lima Time. Villone and Rincon would be worth picking up if the Mets didn’t already have two LOOGYs in the ‘pen. However, if Strickland, Williams, Hermanson, or Kolb are willing to go to New Orleans, any of them could provide nice veteran depth in the event Joe Smith or Ambiorix Burgos fail miserably. Hermanson, in particular, might be a nice addition, assuming he’s completely healthy. He was able to pitch in eight games without any physical issues; the problem was that his performances were awful. Maybe he just needs a few more weeks to get back into the swing of things — he only pitched in six games in September last year.
Personally, I’m hoping Strickland is interested in re-joining the Mets and pitching in AAA. I always liked his bulldog demeanor.
In the meantime, we’ll cross our fingers that Smith, Burgos, etc., can hold the fort, until more munitions arrive in the form of Mota, Juan Padilla, and possibly Marcos Carvajal.