New York Mets 2015 Predictions: Lineups, Pitching, Record

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Bullpen

Jul 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) celebrates after defeating the Miami Marlins 5-4 Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Jenrry Mejia

Jeurys Familia

Bobby Parnell

Vic Black

Josh Edgin

Carlos Torres

For the first time in a while, the Mets should have confidence in their bullpen. Last season was a mitigated disaster throughout the first third of the season, as the Mets scrambled to fill out the backend of their bullpen once Parnell went down with an injury that required Tommy John surgery. Players way past their prime such as Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth were called upon to hold late game leads, and just didn’t have it.

Once Mejia flamed out as a starting pitcher after a scorching start, he was put into the closer’s role and the Mets bullpen began taking shape and took off. Mejia was outstanding as the closer, saving 28/31 chances with a stellar 2.72 ERA as a reliever. You would like to see Mejia lower his WHIP of 1.42 as a reliever, but for a guy in the high pressure closing role for the first time in his career you can accept it. Mejia embraced the pressure and is a showman that relishes the late game moments.

Sep 15, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) gets a new ball after giving up a hit against the Miami Marlins during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

With Mejia moving into the closing role, everything else began to take shape in the Mets bullpen as the other guys fell into place. Familia had a breakout season, and could work his way into the competition for saves at some point in 2015. Familia is dominant against righties, as they hit just .134 against him in 169 plate appearances last season, and he throws extremely hard, averaging 96.4 MPH on his fastball. He is close to a strikeout an inning, and could surpass a K/9 of 9 if he adds a strikeout pitch against lefties.

Add in a full season of Black, and the Mets have the looks of one of the strongest backends of a bullpen in the majors. All are hard throwing, young and aren’t afraid of the big moment. Like Mejia and Familia, Black has the potential to strikeout more than a batter an inning. He just has to work on lowering his walk rate, as his BB/9 was almost five. That is a number that needs to decrease exponentially if Black hopes to pitch at end of games and not sixth innings of blowouts or less impactful times of games.

Parnell will also figure into the end of game situations for the Mets, as Collins has gone as far as to say that Parnell will receive his closers job back once he is cleared to pitch. That is hard to believe, as Parnell hasn’t pitched in over a year in meaningful games, and with how much success the Mets bullpen has had, especially Mejia, it is hard to imagine him messing with what is working.

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Torres is the workhorse in the Mets bullpen, as he is the guy who will give a spot start when need and be used as a bridge from the starting pitcher to the backend of the bullpen if called upon early. Last season he appeared in 73 games throwing 97 innings. Torres is a versatile piece in the Mets bullpen, and a vital person to it’s success. Like the others in the bullpen, Torres strikes out a ton of opposing batters, has a low ERA of 3.06 in 2014 and will pitch whenever the Mets need him. You could see Gee in this role as well if the Mets are unable to move him. He is the most logical choice of the six potential starters to be moved to the bullpen.

Edgin is the lone lefty in the bullpen currently, which is the only problem the Mets currently have with their projected bullpen. Currently, Jack Leathersich is the only other left relieve the Mets have on their 40-man roster, which means he has a shot to make the team out of spring training. The team also brought back lefty specialist Scott Rice as a non-roster invitee for spring training, and he will have as good a shot as any non-roster invited player of making the team come Opening Day.

Next: Final Prediction: Where Will Mets Finish In 2015?