What can we epect from the closer role?

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With K-Rod off in Milwaukee, never to return, the Mets are apparently turning to a committee to close out games. The three members of the committee will be Pedro Beato, Jason Isringhausen, and Bobby Parnell, with Parnell likely getting the majority of the work. What can we expect from the two prospects and the aging veteran?

First, let’s look at Bobby Parnell. Bobby has had several stints with the big league club, including once as a starter throughout the past four seasons. He has a fastball that can reach 100 MPH at times, but Parnell has frequent control problems. He also doesn’t have any decent secondary pitches. If Parnell didn’t throw hard, he wouldn’t even be on the radar for the closer role. He has some potential, at least the Mets think he does, but he hasn’t “wowed” me yet. Here are some of Parnell’s stats you should be aware of:

  • 1-7 in career save opportunities
  • 6-10, 4.35 ERA in his career
  • 2-2, 2.87 ERA last two years
  • 1.52 career WHIP

Final Word: Parnell could be a decent setup man, which he has been during the last two seasons, but clearly doesn’t have the “stuff” to close out games.

How would he fare in a full season as closer? – 2-5, 3.67 ERA, 26 saves

Pedro Beato was acquired this spring from the Orioles in the Rule-5 Draft. He has gotten great reviews ever since. Although he is not technically a prospect, Beato is highly regarded as one of the few pitchers in the organization who could produce some day. Beato has had some problems in May and early June with his delivery and control, but has settled down, allowing only three earned runs in his last 11 games. Beato still has to work on his control a little bit, but he is on track to become a very good pitcher. Here are some notable stats on Beato:

  • 2.7 walks per nine innings
  • 3.38 ERA in 40.0 IP
  • 0 career saves

Final Word: Beato could be a very good closer some day.

How would he fare in a full season as closer? – 4-3, 3.26 ERA, 34 Saves

Jason Isringhausen came to the Mets during spring training and essentially asked for a tryout. He started his career with the Mets and has always wanted to play in Queens. Isringhausen has so much experience as closer, with a career 293 saves and a career-high 47 in 2004 to lead the National League. He has proven that he is one of the top closers of this decade, blossoming into a very good closer with the A’s in 2000 and then signing with the Cardinals as a free agent in 2001. However, Isringhausen is 38 years old. He had Tommy John surgery last year and his arm can’t hold on for too much longer. He has pitched well in 35 games this year, but he can’t be worked too heavily. Izzy is there to be a mentor for Beato and Parnell, the likely future of the Mets closing role because, in the end, it’s about the future, and Izzy won’t be a part of that future. He could really teach the young guys some lessons, and ocassionally close out a few games here and there, maybe after Parnell or Beato pitch on consecutive days, or if the Mets are just that desperate. Here are some stats that you should know:

  • 293 career saves
  • 2-time All-Star
  • 50.2 innings pitched from ’08-’10
  • 1.18 WHIP this season

Final Word: Izzy can be a great mentor for the younger Met pitchers, but can’t handle the closer role at this point in his career.

How would he fare in a full season as closer? – Likely injured 1-1, 3.89 ERA, 17 Saves

Overall thoughts:

Personally, I think Beato should get the full-time closing role with Izzy and Parnell sharing the setup role. He has more upside then Parnell and has more potential with his secondary pitches. Parnell just has had too many problems to convince me that he is the future. However, the Mets really like Pernell and will stick with him for a while until he has either proven he can dominate the 9th inning or until he struggles so much, Terry Collins just can’t take it anymore.

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 17 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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