Some suggestions to improve the Mets bullpen

Saying that the Mets bullpen is not very good is an understatement. The bullpen season ERA was at 5.57 at one point during Saturday’s game (in which a 3-2 deficit became 8-2 immediately upon starting pitcher Shaun Marcum exiting). Mets fans hope it can only get better from here. I have some humble suggestions:

-Promote sidewinder Greg Burke. Burke started with the big league team out of spring training, but got demoted after a 7.36 ERA in just over seven innings. The problem? Burke was actually pitching well in the limited time (2.31 FIP). He’s dominated since getting sent to Triple-A Las Vegas and Steamer thinks he’s good for a 4.04 FIP the rest of the way.

-Promote Collin McHugh. McHugh got some starts for the Mets last year and did pretty well; in 21 innings he had a 4.77 xFIP. His ERA skyrocketed because of a HR/FB rate of 18.5 percent that will most likely regress a fair amount. So far in Las Vegas he’s pitching extremely well with a 2.34 FIP and 1.93 ERA, and Steamer thinks he’s good for a 4.06 FIP the rest of the way. Importantly, he’s a natural starting pitcher and can eat innings.

-Promote Gonzalez Germen. The underrated Mets right-handed prospect has dominated Triple-A this year with a 10.93 K/9 and 1.93 BB/9 in 14 innings. His career minor league numbers are solid, and Steamer likes him for a 3.77 ERA and 3.80 FIP in the big leagues. That’s much better than what’s currently on the roster.

-Demote Robert Carson. The kid just doesn’t have it yet. After a poor outing today he has an ERA of 45.00, and both ZiPS and Steamer think he’s a below-average big league reliever at the moment.

-Demote Jeurys Familia. Another kid who just isn’t ready for the majors just yet. His control is supremely poor and he doesn’t have the overpowering stuff to make up for it. At just 23 years old, there’s time for him in the minors.

None of these are panaceas. Barring something surprising, the Mets will continue to have one of (if not the) worst bullpens in the majors. But marginal differences matter, and at this point changes have to be made.

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