Collins still sorting out bridge to Familia

The Mets have the closer position set in stone, but the seventh and eighth inning roles are still up for grabs.

Going into 2016, the majority of the Mets roster has been pre-determined.  There are no question marks regarding the position players, and most of the backups have also been decided upon.

 The only spots that Terry Collins needs to decide on are the makeup of the bullpen.

 Assume that the Mets carry 12 pitchers.  The starters take five spots: Matt HarveyJacob deGrom, Noah SyndergaardSteven Matz and Bartolo Colon. Familia has the closer’s role locked down.  It would be safe to assume that Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, Jerry Blevins, and newly acquired Antonio Bastardo would fill out four more bullpen spots.  That would leave two openings to be determined before the team breaks camp at the end of March.

 The starting rotation, if healthy enough, can go deep into games. Matt Harvey averaged just less than 6.2 innings per start in 2015, deGrom just over 6.1, Syndergaard 6.2,  Matz just under 6 in his limited number of starts, while Colon averaged just over 6.  This would allow Collins the luxury to not have to rely on a ‘long-relief’ arm on a regular basis.

 With Familia handling the 9th, the key will be to bridging the gap between the 6th and 8th innings, once the starters are done for the day.

 The set-up role will go to Bastardo. With Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015, he went 4-1 in 66 games with a 2.98 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 64 strikeouts in 54.1 innings.

Jeremy Blevins will come into 2016 after only appearing in 7 games last year before missing the rest of the year due to injury.  However, he retired all 15 batters he faced, which included 14 left-handers.

 was stellar down the stretch last season after coming over from Arizona, going 1-1 in 17 games.  Opponents hit only .200 against him, while Reed struck out 17 in 15.1 innings.

 Robles was also somewhat effective last season.  Opponents batted just .190

against him, but he did give up 8 Home Runs in his 54 innings.

 Collins has the luxury of mixing and matching his relievers to suit the individual situation.

 When determining the last two bullpen spots, Collins will consider that Bastardo and Blevins are the only 2 left-handers in the pen.  I would add Josh Edgin as the other left-hander.  The final spot will be given to Logan Verrett, who can be utilized as the long relief arm that could be also used as a 6th starter to allow the rotation to conserve innings.

 The bullpen will also be bolstered mid-season, when Zack Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery, and Colon will most likely be moved to the long-relief role.




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