Miguel Batista, setup man?
With a league-worst 5.48 ERA this year, the Mets' bullpen has been awful. Over the past month, we've looked at which minor league players might serve as replacements, the leverage in which Mets' relievers were used, and whether or not the bullpen is as bad as it looks.
In that month, the Mets have jettisoned Manny Acosta and D.J. Carrasco, who were both awful, and used a bunch of other players from the farm system in an attempt to make the bullpen better. The core of the pen has remained the same: Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, Tim Byrdak, and Ramon Ramirez. With Ramon Ramirez on the disabled list, Elvin Ramirez, Miguel Batista, and Jeremy Hefner constitute the rest of the group for now.
While Jenrry Mejia and Josh Edgin could potentially get the call from Buffalo in the near future, Terry Collins indicated yesterday that he will shake up the roles in the bullpen for everyone except Francisco. The change essentially boils down to the removal of Parnell and Rauch from high-leverage setup situations and the use of Batista in those spots instead. It's a bad idea.
Parnell and Rauch may not be perfect, but they both seem more suited to the role than Batista, who has struggled with control this year, especially out of the bullpen. While his 13.1 innings of work constitute a small sample, Batista's 8.78 BB/9 and 21.7% walk rate are astronomically high. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 1.00. Parnell has struck out 3.38 batters for each one he was walked, and Rauch leads the team with a 3.50 ratio.
Short of getting some help from Mejia and Edgin, the Mets should continue to use Francisco, Byrdak, Parnell, and Rauch in the most important spots. They haven't been great, but they are more likely to succeed than Batista, Hefner, and Elvin Ramirez.