With Oliver Perez, Boof Bonser, Ryota Igarashi and Taylor Tankersley now out of the bidding and mixed reports coming out today about Jason Isringhausen’s health, I am adjusting the odds I set for the Mets’ bullpen hopefuls last week.
Based on Rubin’s report linked above and just about everything else I’ve read, I’m going to now assume that Taylor Buchholz and Tim Byrdak, barring injury, join Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell and D.J. Carrasco as definites on the roster. That leaves, by my count, six dudes competing for two jobs. They are:
Pedro Beato (1:1): Beato was at 1:1 last time I did this and hasn’t done much to change his standing. His small-sample Grapefruit League performance hasn’t been dominant, but it hasn’t been atrocious either and he’s still 24 with a lively fastball and a ticket back to the Orioles if the Mets can’t find a spot for him on the 25-man roster.
Jason Isringhausen (1:1): Isringhausen slips to even-money due to the injury talk. By the Mets’ accounts he’s still in the mix, but hearing a pop in your elbow when you’re 38 and already a veteran of multiple arm surgeries is not a promising sign. If he’s healthy he’s probably still in, but it’s looking a lot less likely he’ll be healthy. And at some point the Mets will have to question — if they haven’t already — if they’ll want to lose Beato or risk Pat Misch and Manny Acosta on waivers to keep around a guy with so much mileage on his arm that could get hurt at any time.
Manny Acosta (2:1): Acosta has been pretty good, if a bit wild, in Grapefruit League action. Gun to my head (and based on very limited information), if I needed to pick one of them to pitch an important late inning in April, I’d probably take Acosta over Beato. Luckily no one’s holding a gun to my head and I don’t make those decisions, because Beato probably offers more long-term upside than Acosta.
Pat Misch (2:1): Pat Misch has been perfectly Pat Mischy in 16 2/3 Spring Training innings: Good control, not a lot of strikeouts, hit kind of hard but not terrible. He benefits by being left-handed and versatile. Also, his middle name is Theodore, which is my middle name too.
Mike O’Connor (5:1): O’Connor’s odds are long because he can be sent to the Minor Leagues without going through waivers. It’s hard to imagine a situation wherein the Mets are so eager to keep O’Connor around for April that they’re willing to give up one of the four guys above him on this list. His odds are better than Blaine Boyer’s because he is left-handed.
Blaine Boyer (9:1): Though Boyer has been good in limited Grapefruit League action, he is a hard-throwing right-hander like Beato and Acosta, and unlike Beato and Acosta he can be sent to Triple-A. I’d say his best chance for making the team now would be a rash of injuries. We’ll probably see Boyer in Queens at some point in the middle of the season.
The field (14:1): The field’s odds get a little better, mostly to make the math work out. But there has been some player movement lately, so this includes the off chance the Mets pick up someone from waivers or on a Minor League deal that they’re convinced is better than the in-house options.