Mets Spring Training Question 2: Who Will Be the Second LOOGY?
With two days left before pitchers and Molinas (no, I never get tired of using that phrase) report to Port St. Lucie, let’s consider question number 2 to be answered during Mets spring training: who will be the second Left Handed One Out GuY in the bullpen?
That is assuming, of course, that Terry Collins chooses to head north with two situational lefties in his bullpen. We know that — barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances — Tim Byrdak will be the main lefthanded Mets reliever. It’s fair to assume, also, that the projected relief corps looks something like this (in no particular order):
1. Tim Byrdak
2. Jon Rauch
3. Frankie Francisco
4. Ramon Ramirez
5. Bobby Parnell
6. Manny Acosta
Again, the above is a projection and certainly not set in stone. It’s possible that someone gets hurt during the spring, and/or takes a job away from, say, Acosta or Parnell. Certainly, there’s a possibility that Collins chooses to go with a long reliever / swing man — which gives hope to D.J. Carrasco, Josh Stinson, Chris Schwinden, Jeremy Hefner, and others. Additionally, it’s possible that Pedro Beato finds himself in a bullpen role instead of starting.
But for the moment, let’s just pretend that the Mets are going to fill one of their bullpen slots with a second lefthander. Who will it be?
There are three lefthanded relievers in camp: Mets minor leaguer Robert Carson and non-roster invitees: Danny Herrera, Garrett Olson, and Chuck James.
We saw a small sample (pardon the pun) of Herrera late last summer, who was outstanding at first and then kind of leveled off. The 23-year-old Carson has good velocity (90-95 MPH) and a decent cutter but walks far too many batters and doesn’t get as many swings and misses as one might expect. However, Carson has been a starter to this point, and it’s possible that short stints out of the bullpen could improve his performance. Olson never fulfilled his first-round potential and has been struggling with injuries. James had a few good years with the Braves at the beginning of his career, but has been injury-riddled since 2008.
Honestly, I have no idea who of this quartet will break out and take a spot — if one is available.
What say you? Will the Mets carry a second LOOGY? Should they? If so, who do you think it will be, and why? Answer in the comments.
If the specialist idea is to give hitters something funky they don’t see every day, I think Danny Ray fits the bill.