New York Mets Rumors: Will Buddy Carlyle Make The Opening Day Roster?

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New York Mets Rumors: What Will Mets Do With Buddy Carlyle Opening Day?

With Opening Day right around the corner, MLB teams are finalizing their rosters as Spring Training comes to a close. Some teams, such as the New York Mets, will have decisions to make right up until the final 25-man roster is ready to be announced. In the Mets instance, they have to decide how they want to fill out their bench and pitching staff. The person right in the middle of the dilemma is reliever Buddy Carlyle, who could leave the Mets high-and-dry the day before the season starts.

Carlyle has a clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent if he does not make the Opening Day roster with the Mets. It is something the Mets have to take into consideration, as Carlyle may not be willing to go down to their Triple-A team, instead choosing to become a free agent and try finding a different home for the 2015 season.

Carlyle has been strong for the Mets this spring, making this decision that much more excruciating for management to make. In 9 ⅓ innings, Carlyle has compiled a 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP while striking out five batters. This follows up a surprisingly strong 2014 for Carlyle, who was brought up from the minor leagues as insurance and actually provided the Mets with good production.

In 2014, Carlyle threw 31 innings, pitching to a 1.45 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, including 28 strikeouts. This production literally came out of nowhere, as Carlyle hadn’t pitching in the majors since 2011 with the New York Yankees, where he did not perform well at all. That makes this scenario all that more surprising, as Carlyle wasn’t even on the radar last season, but now is leaving the Mets management with a huge dilemma.

The problem is the Mets bullpen looks pretty much set. Prior to the trade acquisitions of Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins last week, the Mets looked to have some openings in the bullpen that Carlyle could have easily filled. But with those two on board now, the Mets are looking at seven locks in the bullpen; in addition to Torres and Blevins, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Sean Gilmartin and Rafael Montero seem like locks. Bobby Parnell has all but been guaranteed a spot as well once he is healthy enough to return.

That leaves the Mets in a predicament, as taking Carlyle as an eighth reliever would leave them a little short on the bench. That could be a mistake going into the season, as the healthy of Daniel Murphy is still up in the air; he seems likely to be in the Opening Day lineup, but muscle injuries like the one Murphy suffered can always linger. The Mets may not be comfortable cutting into the bench with Murphy not 100 percent ready to go.

Manager Terry Collins seems to be leaning towards pushing for Carlyle to stick on the Opening Day roster. When broached about the subject, he noted that some of the starting pitchers at his disposal may not be ready to go deep into games in the early part of the season.

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For whatever reason, there are starting pitchers on the Mets that have not yet thrown 90 pitches in a game this spring. That means expecting them go to over 100 pitches in the early going would be foolish, especially when they will be monitoring guys like Matt Harvey as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

With that being said, If Murphy is healthy enough to be in the Opening Day lineup, he should be considered ready for his normal workload of being in the lineup everyday. Holding onto Carlyle cannot hurt the Mets. He proved last year, and this spring, that he can be a useful part of the bullpen going forward and someone the Mets can rely on. Having eight pitchers may be unconventional, but sometimes you have to do unordinary things to find success. If that means carrying an extra pitcher at the start of the season, so be it.

As the old adage goes, you can never have enough pitching.

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