After the Mets lost last night, thanks in big part to another home run allowed by Jose Valverde, Terry Collins implied the team would look elsewhere the next time it needs a closer. So long as that title isn't going anywhere anytime soon, who should the Mets turn to to replace Valverde?
Among players on the active roster, Scott Rice is certainly out. Daisuke Matsuzaka as a high-leverage relief pitcher does not sound like a recipe for success—and wasn't last night—and Jeurys Familia is struggling despite appearing to have the stuff to succeed.
That leaves three options at the major league level: Gonzalez Germen, Kyle Farnsworth, and Carlos Torres. Germen got off to an excellent start before his first bad outing but still has pretty good strikeout, walk, and home run rates. Farnsworth's 1.23 ERA is the best among Mets relief pitchers, and his rates have been good so far, too. Torres has been outstanding, and his 1.86 ERA ranks second among the group, while his 1.84 FIP ranks first.
In Triple-A Las Vegas, Vic Black has a 0.00 ERA but has issued seven unintentional walks in six-and-one-third innings. Miguel Socolovich and Joel Carreno have been effective in the early going, while Josh Edgin, Jeff Walters, Erik Goeddel, and Ryan Reid have ERAs north of 8.00. While the Mets might eventually replace Valverde on the roster with one of these players, it's hard to see them slotting one into the closer's role right now.