Rumor Mill: Bullpen Will See Changes

The face of the New York Mets bullpen could change drastically when pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie. Who could pick up the ninth inning closing duties in Flushing and is the Captain, John Franco, going to return? Also, injury updates on both Jose Reyes and Cliff Floyd.

Royce Makes Olympic Qualifying Team
The hard-throwing lefty whom the Mets acquired in the deal that sent Roberto Alomar to the Chicago White Sox, was one of eleven pitchers that has been selected and will be used primarily as a setup man for manager Frank Robinson.

"It's a great opportunity for him," GM Jim Duquette said. Ring's experience this fall could propel him into the Mets' plans next spring. The 22-year-old has not played above Double-A but has progressed rapidly in the last year.

This could rapidly speed up Royce's track to the majors. Despite not playing above the Double-A level, Ring may deserve a serious look by manager Art Howe in the spring.

Mets Are Looking At:
According to sources, the Mets, along with the Boston Red Sox, are expected to be serious players for the services of Keith Foulke, who worked extremely well with incoming pitching coach Rick Peterson in Oakland last season.

Player News:
Shortstop Jose Reyes, who severely sprained his left ankle in a game August 31 at Shea Stadium, is starting to get to full speed. The Mets currently have him working out in Florida and are uncertain whether or not he will be cleared to play winter ball.

Leftfielder Cliff Floyd has stated that he‘s been shockingly surprised from the lack of pain following the surgery on his right-ankle.

Duquette has expressed interest in bringing back free agents John Franco and Tony Clark, but will do so strictly based on their financial expectations.

The Farm's The Key:
The New York Mets know that if they want to rebuild their organization back into a winner they're going to have no choice but to depend on the farm system, which, to it's credit, has improved tremendously over the past few seasons. Said Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon: "We've got to improve from within and keep the guys we produce (in the minor leagues). If we've learned anything in the last two years, it's that."


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