Friday, February 25, 2011

Waiting For Lefty

Pedro Feliciano is a Yankee now and the biggest vacancy left by his absence is from the left side of the mound. The Mets have Parnell and Acosta and Alvarez and Beato and Iggarashi and Isringhausen but something that none of them can do... is pitch lefty.

The Contestants:

Oliver Perez: Perez is about as popular with Met fans as Miguel Cabrera is with MADD (Mother Against Drunk Driving). He's basically been a 36 Million dollar void since signing two off seasons ago and the Mets REALLY wish they could get that money back. Reports thus far from camp are that he's pitching well. Now... he's going to get a shot to win the #4 or #5 rotation spot, but looking at Perez and all his stuff, if he can throw strikes... he really might make a pretty good LOOGY.

Chris Capuano: Like Perez, Capuano is fighting to start. Unlike Perez he's pitched relief and shown that his skills lend themselves to being a lefty specialist. Add to this a desire to protect his arm that is still referred to as recovering and you might have the perfect candidate to be that LOOGY. Or... as he has some stamina... maybe he'll be the second lefty in the pen and be the Long Reliever? Either way I have to think that Capuano will be in the pen.

Taylor Tankersley: Tankersley is young-ish and has a good arm but I think he's looking at a fight. Capuano has the edge if he doesn't make the rotation and most people point to Byrdak as the more likely LOOGY if the Mets opt for a PURE RP guy. I'm hoping Taylor will be fine waiting in AAA if they don't need him right away because I think he WOULD get called up when the need does arise. That said, he could just flat-out win the job this spring.

Tim Byrdak: Byrdak is the current favorite to be penciled into the role. He's a veteran and is that SAFE option. Byrdak has 4 straight seasons of sub-4.00 ERA to back his candidacy. Also in his favor are his FAR superior numbers purely against left handed hitters. If I were asked to bet, I'd bet on Tim winning the LOOGY by a good safe margin.

Pat Misch: Misch isn't a great LOOGY guy. He's not so superior vs. lefties than righties and he's not that impressive a pitcher overall. With all of that said I think Misch is going to join Gee in AAA and be playing for time as the #6 pitcher while Santana is hurt. I happen to like Misch more than Gee but I might over-value lefties.

Mike O'Connor: You probably have never heard of this guy. He's a minor-leaguer who the Mets got last year and someone who showed some talent towards the end of the season. He needs to pitch better than any of the numbers I've seen on him indicate that he can to win the job, but the Mets insist he's in the running to don't count him 100% out. If there ever was a dark horse... it was Mike.

Survey Says: Tim Byrdak as LOOGY (Capuano as LRP)

This is Phlavio Phega and, if it relates to the Mets, I have an opinion.

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