The Mets bullpen has been rather inconsistent early in the 2014 baseball season. After losing right-handed closer Bobby Parnell to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Mets brought in veteran pitcher Jose Valverde to take his place. But after giving up four home runs in the last three games, manager Terry Collins pulled the plug on Valverde and has given the ball to another seasoned veteran, Kyle Farnsworth.
The announcement was made early Sunday morning before the Mets were set to take on the Braves at home in an Easter Sunday showdown. Farnsworth, 38, has pitched 7 innings this season and has posted a 1.23 ERA. The 15-year journeyman, who has played for nine different teams, realizes his time in the majors may be limited because of age.
“You’ve got to take the opportunities you get and run with them,” he said.
Whether the Mets go with Valverde or Farnsworth, they are still putting an aging pitcher on the mound the close out their games. Collins had informed Valverde that he wanted him to work on his split-finger fastball instead of always relying on his abilities to make batters miss. Valverde agreed with his manager and didn’t really seem to crushed when he learned he lost his closing job.
“I’m never disappointed,” he said. “If I’m not doing my job, someone else has to do it. … [I’m a] happy guy. I stay happy.”
The bullpen isn’t even the biggest problems the Mets have this season. Curtis Granderson, who the Mets signed this offseason to a $60 million dollar contract, has yet to perform at the plate and is batting just .140 in 57 at-bats this season. But with Parnell done for the year and Valverde out of a job before May, the Mets hope they can find some consistency in a guy that didn’t make New York’s opening day roster.