Friday, February 15, 2008

NL East Bullpens

This will by my final installment of polls for determining the best of what the NL East has to offer. The Mets have been crowned the NL East's best rotation, while the Phils have garnered top honors for outfield and infield. I'm not even going to bother debating coaching staffs, or get into farm systems. I'll stick with concrete tangibles that you can see on display at the MLB level, which leaves me with the bullpens.

*Career era and whip, and pitching arm in parentheses.

Atlanta Braves:
Closer- Rafael Soriano (2.93, 1.02, R). Key Cogs- Mike Gonzalez (2.29, 1.23, L), Peter Moylan (2.23, 1.13, R), Manny Acosta (2.28, 1.14, R), Will Ohman (4.33, 1.42, L), and Tyler Yates (5.15, 1.56, R). Filler- Royce Ring (3.12, 1.38, L), Jeff Bennett (4.59, 1.43, R), Blaine Boyer (3.71, 1.49, R), Buddy Carlyle (5.96, 1.43, R), and Chris Resop (5.48, 1.83, R). Overall this is a solid group of relievers. There are question marks about Soriano's ability to handle the closer's role (13 career saves), but when Gonzalez gets healthy he's a great fallback plan. Never underestimate the Braves knack for turning mediocre arms into quality pitchers.

Florida Marlins:
Closer- Kevin Gregg (4.12, 1.33, R). Key Cogs- Justin Miller (5.33, 1.59, R), Matt Lindstrom (3.09, 1.30, R), Lee Gardner (2.46, 1.31, R), Henry Owens (3.00, 1.37, R), and Taylor Tankersly (3.46, 1.47, L). Filler- Daniel Barone (5.71, 1.68, R), Logan Kensing (5.50, 1.55, R), and Renyel Pinto (3.46, 1.40, L). This is a rag-tag group the outperformed expectations last year, but I expect some growing pains this season. Gregg is not a great closer, and I think he'll end up being a 1 season wonder. Lindstrom and Owens have upside, but they're surrounded with a losing atmosphere that trades their young talent away when it gets too expensive...that'll play tricks with your psyche.

New York Mets:
Closer- Billy Wagner (2.40, 1.02, L). Key Cogs- Aaron Heilman (4.04, 1.27, R), Pedro Feliciano (3.20, 1.34, L), Matt Wise (4.18, 1.26, R), Jorge Sosa (4.59, 1.46, R), and Matt Schoeneweis (5.01, 1.46, L). Filler- Ruddy Lugo (4.39, 1.48, R), Joe Smith (3.45, 1.56, R), currently DL'ed Duaner Sanchez (3.81, 1.37, R), and Brian Stokes (6.46, 1.80, R). I hate that rat bastard Billy Wagner, but he's still a top closer. Heilman and Feliciano are nice setup men, and Wise was a decent cheap offseason pickup. This is a seasoned group that has proven they can pitch and mixed with the Mets outstanding rotation is a great pitching staff collectively.

Philadelphia Phillies:
Closer- Brad Lidge (3.30, 1.20, R). Key Cogs- Tom Gordon (3.93, 1.35, R), JC Romero (4.30, 1.50, L), Ryan Madson (4.14, 1.38, R), and Chad Durbin (5.75, 1.57, R). Filler- Mike Zagurski (5.91, 1.69, L), Clay Condrey (4.84, 1.53, R), Scott Mathieson (limited experience), Francisco Rosario (6.02, 1.76, R), and Fabio Castro (3.30, 1.21, L). I'm glad to have Lidge because it allows Bretty Myers to go back to the rotation, but I am leary of his ability to lock down leads with high frequency. To be honest, I dislike this bullpen, as Gordon is fragile, Romero has a flair for imploding, Madson is a crapshoot, and the rest are less than stellar to say the least.

Washington Nationals:
Closer- Chad Cordero (2.79, 1.19, R). Key Cogs- John Rauch (3.74, 1.22, R), Luis Ayala (2.82, 1.20, R), Ryan Wagner (4.79, 1.59, R), Jesus Colome (4.54, 1.50, R), and Saul Rivera (3.58, 1.44, R). Filler- Ray King (3.43, 1.34, L), and Chris Schroder (4.40, 1.21, R). They may not have a lot of depth, but this is a decent group. Chad Cordero is a very good young closer, if on a contending team (ie. BoSox or Yanks) would get much higher praiser. John Rauch is the biggest dude to ever chuck pitches in MLB, Wagner is a former 1st round pick of the Reds, Colome can bring heat, and King is like a Weeble- he wobbles but he doesn't fall down.

Who has the best bullpen?
Nationals free polls



GM-Carson said...

I voted Mets...they've got the best pitching staff in my opinion in the NL East.

On about Tom Gordon (who we need to be healthy and effective to have any shot at repeating)- "It was a really good start," Gordon said. "The last couple of weeks, I felt really good on the mound."

Thanks to an offseason strengthening program, Gordon feels fresh, though most pitchers do this time of year. While the next few weeks will be a better indicator, Gordon feels much better than he did at this time last year, so it's something to build upon.

"They got me on a real strenuous program," Gordon said. "They found a guy to help me out, and we did a lot of work to strengthen it and keep me away from the things that caused me to be sore in the past couple of years. I'm optimistic that things are going to work out well. I think I'm a lot stronger. My legs feel stronger."

GM-Carson said...

Other news from the 1st day of ST-
A handful of early-arriving position players took batting practice at Bright House Networks Field. The group included Ryan Howard, Pedro Feliz, Greg Dobbs, Greg Golson and Chris Snelling. Members of that group later performed defensive drills. ... Savery will be featured in a "Rookie's Diary" video blog this spring, designed to chronicle his first experience in big league camp. ... Eaton changed his uniform number from 23 to 21, the number he wore with the Rangers. He couldn't have those digits last season because they belonged to Jon Lieber. Ideally, Eaton said he'd rather have 26, but that belongs to Chase Utley. "I don't think anyone will ever wear that number again [as a Phillie]," Eaton said.

Bob D said...

Nats -they standout
Braves -close runner up
Mets -well behind the Nats and Braves
Phils -these last 2 a toss up

GM-Carson said...

Wow a vote for the Nats...ballsy Bod D, I like it.

Bob D said...

Like you usually say "It's a crap shoot"

SirAlden said...

Clear, balanced, well written piece.

Hopefully the AA Reading Team will grow some bullets for us for next year's trade market.

AND We pay big time over slot for our six picks in the first 110 of the MLB Draft.

GM-Carson said...

Sir Alden, are you giving props to me for a "clear, balanced, well written piece" or to the link you posted?

SirAlden said...

You. Of course... And the Paul Hagen piece. lol

I really appreciate all the time you both put into this blog.

GM-Carson said...

And we appreciate that you appreciated us.

GM-Carson said...

I can't believe 8 people voted for the Phils bullpen. I know this is a Phils blog and all, but c'mon people...really?

SirAlden said...

SirAlden said...

If the Phillies Pen is healthy it can defeat the Mutts, Braves, and Nats.

If it is unhealthy i.e. Madson - Gordon, with Romero and Lidge not taking care of business, it ties the Marlins.

The Phillies Bullpen is a real crap shoot.

furiousBall said...

I voted for the Nats but then though right as I clicked that really the Braves have the best pen. I feel good about two relievers in the Phils pen and that's counting Lidge.

goDuke said...

I am blindly loyal to the phils... I voted for them... of course I also predicted Burrell for MVP so... you know... Go Phils!

Bob D said...

Burrell for MVP? could happen he could have a career year, and then cash in on it.

GM-Carson said...

If the Brick Cit House and with the Phils lineup, it is actually possible for Burrell to be MVP.