Not much was expected out of the team's pitchers this year, but both the rotation and bullpen have been mostly good. With the All Star break upon us, what better time than now to grade the performance of the Mets up to this point?
Francisco Rodriguez: A
In between all the talk about his looming vesting option, Frankie's been an excellent relief pitcher. He's only human and slumped a couple of times, but the results have still been very good. His strikeouts are down, but he's kept his walks down like he did last year to minimize the damage.
Bobby Parnell: A
After struggling early in the year, Parnell hit the disabled list and came back looking like he did in 2010. With 10.9 K/9 and a reasonable 3.3 BB/9, Parnell's 2.92 ERA is no fluke. His FIP and xFIP are nearly identical: 2.67 and 2.66. If and when Francisco Rodriguez is traded, Parnell is the most likely pitcher to take over as the Mets' closer.
Jon Niese: A-
Easily the best starting pitcher on the team, Niese's 3.88 ERA is a bit deceptive, and it was artificially inflated when Terry Collins thought it'd be a good idea to use him out of the bullpen in the final game before the break. He's already been good but should be even better moving forward.
Tim Byrdak: B+
Pedro Feliciano left a void in the Mets' bullpen before heading up to the Bronx and doing the same to the Yankees. There were a bunch of options on the market for a replacement, and Sandy Alderson went with the inexpensive veteran, who has been superb against left-handed hitters. His overall numbers suffer a bit because he's faced nearly as many righties as lefties, but he's dominating lefties: 12.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9, good for a 2.44 xFIP.
Chris Capuano: B+
Of the five pitchers in the rotation, Capuano's 3.70 xFIP is the second-lowest. The strikeouts are pretty good, the walks are in check, and he's probably gotten a bit unlucky with the dingers.
Pedro Beato: B+
Beato's been one of the best Rule 5 picks the Mets have gotten right in quite some time. It'd be nice if he struck out more opponents, but he's not walking too many, either.
R.A. Dickey: B
Dickey started slow and has gotten better as the season has progressed. His walks were high in March and April, but since then, Dickey's back to his 2010 habits of barely walking anyone despite throwing a knuckleball. Whether or not the Mets end up making a run at the Braves, watching Dickey pitch is something to behold.
Dillon Gee: B
After a dazzling start to his major league season upon replacing Chris Young, Gee has come back down to earth slowly but surely. He still looks very much like a major league pitcher, and those aren't easy to come by.
Taylor Buchholz: B
It seems like he's been out for a long time, but before Buchholz hit the DL, he was looking very good on the mound. If he returns, he could easily become a high-leverage reliever in a Frankie-less bullpen.
Jason Isringhausen: B-
It doesn't seem likely that Isringhausen, the feel-good story of the season, will maintain the success he's had so far this year. There are just far too many walks and not enough strikeouts to make up for them. If he remains with the team for the remainder of the year, he should see lower leverage situations.
Mike Pelfrey: C
Pelfrey's the least exciting and least effective pitcher to watch on this team, and it shouldn't really come as a surprise. Fluctuations in his ERA from year to year make him look erratic, but his xFIP for each year since 2008: 4.45, 4.47, 4.31, 4.43. He's a capable major league pitcher who's doing the same thing he's always done, mixing in a the occasional gem with a bunch of average outings.
Manny Acosta: F
It's a really small sample, but he's been abysmal. In all likelihood, he'll get better, but so far, no good.
D.J. Carrasco: F
His track record suggests that he'll get better, but he's just not doing anything well right now. He briefly looked better upon his return from Buffalo, but that didn't last.
Ryota Igarashi: F
So many strikeouts. So many walks. Ugly results.
Pat Misch: F
He got absolutely shelled in his seven innings of big league work.
Chris Young: Incomplete
His brief time with the Mets was top-notch, but he's a distant memory because he got hurt so early in the season.
Mike O'Connor: Incomplete
His numbers in Buffalo suggest that what he did in his brief stint in the majors probably wasn't sustainable.