Sandy Alderson has been the anti-Kevin Towers when it comes to building a bullpen. The scrap-heap guys, the higher-priced relievers, the players acquired via trade -- most of his acquisitions have not worked out well. This season, the bullpen finished 2nd-worst in the league in both ERA and FIP. It was not fun to watch.
So who was your least favorite 2012 Mets reliever?
(Note: minimum 10 innings pitched out of the bullpen to be considered; stats listed exclude appearances as a starting pitcher)
Manny Acosta, 47.1 IP, 6.46 ERA, 1.84 K/BB
Just like in 2011, Acosta was dreadful in the first half (11.86 ERA, 1.53 K/BB) and pretty good in the second half (1.78 ERA, 2.30 K/BB). Unfortunately, his strong finish was not enough to overcome walk-and-dinger-filled April and May. The Acostalypse.
Miguel Batista, 25.2 IP, 4.56 ERA, 1.09 K/BB
Remember Battingpractista? He threw a shutout in the final game of 2011 which likely helped him make the team out of spring training. He was expected to be horrible, and he was. Batista twice walked four batters in a relief appearance. He also made five starts, the last of which marked his final appearance with the Mets. Sandy Alderson finally cut the cord in late July.
Tim Byrdak, 30.2 IP, 4.40 ERA, 1.89 K/BB
Byrdak had shoulder surgery in July which ended his season. He wasn't as effective in 2012 as he was in 2011. Perhaps excessive use by Terry Collins had something to do with it. Or perhaps not! Byrdak has a goofy personality without trying too hard, making him tough to dislike.
D.J. Carrasco, 3.2 IP, 7.36 ERA, 3.00 K/BB
Carrasco doesn't meet the 10 innings threshold for consideration but I'll make a special exception. He gave up two home runs in 3.2 innings of work, and his final pitch as a Met ended up hitting Ryan Braun in the back. The umpire gave Carrasco the heave-ho, as did Sandy Alderson. On the plus side, he didn't balk in a game-winning run this year.
Robert Carson, 13.1 IP, 4.73 ERA, 1.25 K/BB
Carson's peripherals were across-the-board atrocious but he came through in multiple big spots. He actually led the Mets' bullpen in win probability added (WPA). The Dessens-esque strikeout rate will have to improve if he is to stay in Flushing.
Josh Edgin, 25.2 IP, 4.56 ERA, 3.00 K/BB
Edgin gave up a home run to Ryan Howard on back-to-back days to close out his season. The first was crippling -- it turned a ninth inning 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit -- and the second was just embarrassing -- it was a grand slam which gave the Phillies a 16-1 lead. Still, he's young, lefty, and has decent stuff. He has a future with the big club.
Frank Francisco, 42.1 IP, 5.53 ERA, 2.24 K/BB
Considering Francisco's track record of success in the American League, a two-year, $12 million deal seemed like a reasonable investment. He recorded a save in each of the first three games of the season but things went downhill from there. He silenced his supporters with regular late-game meltdowns. Too many walks and a hittable fastball did him in. A 5+ ERA from your ace reliever is unacceptable. He had a Rickey Henderson moment after a poor outing in Cincinnati in mid-August, replying "Who?" when asked about Matt Harvey.
Justin Hampson, 10 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 K/BB
If you stopped watching in September, you may have missed him. I actually can't recall watching him pitch. Hampson is a 32-year-old southpaw who pitched well enough at Triple-A Buffalo the last two seasons to earn some time in the big leagues. He enjoyed modest success in his first stint in "The Show" since 2008. Good for him, no sarcasm.
Jeremy Hefner, 24.1 IP, 4.44 ERA, 2.25 K/BB
Hefner moved between the rotation and bullpen throughout the season. His overall peripherals (3.66 FIP) were better than his results but I'd guess that he wasn't simply getting unlucky. I call him a right-handed Pat Misch. Given Hefner's lack of strikeout stuff, long relief/spot starting is probably his best shot at sticking in MLB.
Bobby Parnell, 68.2 IP, 2.49 ERA, 3.05 K/BB
Parnell had the best peripherals of anyone in the ‘pen. However, he remained hittable and continued to struggle in high-leverage spots. His WPA was negative for the fifth consecutive season. If you need three outs in the sixth inning of a 5-1 game, he's your guy.
Elvin Ramirez, 21.1 IP, 5.48 ERA, 1.10 K/BB
Ramirez debuted in June after holding his own at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo. He didn't pitch all that well with the Mets and he was primarily used in mop-up duty. In just 4 of his 20 appearances did he not allow a baserunner. It appears that he throws the ball as hard as possible with no regard to location. Control is an area for improvement. He's just 25 years old though, maybe he can pull it together.
Ramon Ramirez, 63.2 IP, 4.24 ERA, 1.49 K/BB
Ramirez underperformed his pre-2012 ERA of 3.16. He walked a ton of batters, displaying an uncanny ability to fall behind in the count. He pulled a hamstring while celebrating Johan Santana's no-hitter and spent some time on the disabled list. Like many of his mates, he was terrible in high-leverage situations. It was a disappointing season for a pitcher with good stuff.
Jon Rauch, 57.2 IP, 3.59 ERA, 3.50 K/BB
Rauch was strong in April, stunk up the joint in May and June, then was solid for the rest of the season. His stuff didn't look particularly overwhelming but he still found a way to get batters out. Plus he did good teammate things like publicly supporting Jason Bay when fans booed the beleaguered outfielder after he was concussed. There's not much to hate here. The Mets' reliever of the year is either Rauch or Parnell.