Before Sunday’s series finale with the San Francisco Giants, Terry Collins was asked about the bullpen as much of the group has floundered throughout August.
"Right now, with all the different things we've had to do, with some of the turmoil we've had in our starting rotation ... we've taxed our bullpen. The back end for sure. Those guys have been in 60 games apiece."
No player exemplifies the struggles of the group more than Hansel Robles. Robles, who was in the midst of a breakout season as a reliever headed into August, has sputtered over the past month. In fact, Robles’s ERA spiked up to over 4.00 after sitting at 2.53 at the end of July. However, Robles has now thrown more than 60 innings, exceeding his 2015 total with more than a month remaining in the season.
Collins has leaned on the services of a few bullpen pieces in this manner. Closer Jeurys Familia and setup man Addison Reed are both right at the 60-inning mark along with Robles. The rest of the Mets bullpen has been a game of mix-and-match.
While pitchers like Logan Verrett were originally intended to be factors in the Mets bullpen, injuries have forced the team to adapt. However, it is Collins’s job to get the most out of the pieces he has, whether in the majors or minors. Considering the workloads of Familia, Robles, and Reed, someone else will need to step up and give those three some rest down the stretch.
Look for Jim Henderson to take on a larger role in relief following his activation last week. Henderson, in his age 33 season, is a two-pitch guy whose velocity is at a career low. Other options include Seth Lugo, who may join the rotation in case of a Steven Matz injury, Josh Smoker, and the possible recalls of Gabriel Ynoa, Erik Goeddel, or Josh Edgin.