For the first time in the Sandy Alderson Era, the Mets bullpen wasn't the LOLpen. Its adjusted ERA was fourth-best in the league, and a combination of hard-throwing youngsters and scrap-heap veterans anchored a corps that improved as the season wore on. Still, there are several worthy candidates for the Piazza for Worst Relief Pitcher. Thankfully, most of them weren't around very long.
The nominees for Worst Relief Pitcher are:
Kyle Farnsworth: Despite a respectable April, during which he allowed two runs in 11.1 innings pitched, Farnsy struggled overall in his Mets tenure. His peripherals were ugly (4.54 FIP) and the game-winning homer he surrendered in an early May game in Colorado was probably the beginning of the end of his time in Flushing. He did provide one of the more hilarious moments of the season, though, when he expressed his displeasure about being cut from the roster. This was his response when asked what he would do next:
"Hopefully find a team to play against this team," Farnsworth said. "I'm very bitter right now."
Farnsy signed with the Astros but was released in late June.
Gonzalez Germen: After a promising 2013 season, Germen made the Opening Day roster. He impressed early on, allowing just one run while striking out ten in his first 10.1 innings of the season. His stuff looked pretty filthy, too. The good times didn't last, though, and a combination of walks, home runs, and health problems conspired to put a damper on his season. Germen finished with a 4.75 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched, an ugly mark in any era but especially in this one.
John Lannan: Long Beach's own pitched just four innings for the Mets this season, but he's still a fair inclusion on this list. He allowed three home runs and seven total runs in those four innings, good for a 15.75 ERA. Sandy Alderson pulled the plug in mid-April, and Lannan struggled at Triple-A Vegas after being demoted. He probably didn't stick around long enough to take home the Piazza.
Scott Rice: One of the feel-good stories of 2013, Rice actually finished third in the Best Relief Pitcher voting last season. 2014 wasn't as kind to him. Left-handed batters handled him to the tune of a .256/.392/.333 slash line, which is a problem for a LOOGY. Walking 12 batters in 13.2 innings just isn't a recipe for success. Rice was demoted to Triple-A Vegas in early June, then underwent season-ending elbow surgery in July.
Jose Valverde: For a few unfortunate games after Bobby Parnell went down with injury on Opening Day, Valverde was the Mets' closer. "Papa Grande" was a bust as one of Sandy Alderson's low-cost veteran bullpen acquisitions. He allowed 16 runs in 20.2 innings pitched, tallying two saves while blowing two as well. After a four-run meltdown to blow a game against the Pirates in late May, Valverde was released. We may have seen the last of him in MLB.
And the Piazza for Worst Relief Pitcher goes to...
Jose Valverde! Terry Collins showed up to congratulate Jose.
Here is how everyone voted:
|Aaron Yorke||Jose Valverde
||Scott Rice||Gonzalez Germen|
|Andrew Cohen||Jose Valverde||Scott Rice||Kyle Farnsworth|
|Chris McShane||Scott Rice
||Jose Valverde||Gonzalez Germen|
|Chris Strohmaier||Kyle Farnsworth
||Jose Valverde||Gonzalez Germen|
|Colby Conetta||Jose Valverde||Scott Rice||Gonzalez Germen|
|Eric Simon||Gonzalez Germen
||Kyle Farnsworth||Jose Valverde|
|James Kannengieser||Gonzalez Germen||Jose Valverde||John Lannan|
|Jeffrey Litt||Jose Valverde||John Lannan||Gonzalez Germen|
|Jeffrey Paternostro||Jose Valverde||Gonzalez Germen||Scott Rice|
|Joseph Wolkin||Jose Valverde||Kyle Farnsworth||John Lannan|
|Matthew Callan||Jose Valverde||Kyle Farnsworth||John Lannan|
|Michael Avallone||Jose Valverde||Scott Rice||Gonzalez Germen|
|Nicholas Walsh||Jose Valverde||Gonzalez Germen||Scott Rice|
|Scot Cohen||Kyle Farnsworth||John Lannan||Jose Valverde|
|Steven Schreiber||Scott Rice||Jose Valverde||John Lannan|
|Sydney Hunte||Gonzalez Germen|
And here is the final vote tally, using a 3-2-1 points system:
Now it's your turn to vote. We'll summarize the community awards in a post at the conclusion of The Piazzas.