Up Along First


Posts tagged with "Frank Francisco"

Aug 9

What Can Be Salvaged From This Year’s Bullpen?

The bullpen has been a major discussion virtually every day in Mets-world over the past few months. As a unit, they are clearly the worst in baseball, and the numbers back that up as well. We know that Sandy Alderson needs to acquire a reliever or two net off-season. However, the bigger question this winter will be: Who stays?

Despite the Mets having one of the worst bullpens in baseball, there are definitely some parts that can be salvaged from the rubble. Here are a few guys the Mets should consider bringing back next season.

Frank Francisco

Say what you will about the early-season inconsistencies from Francisco, but he has settled down and pitched well of late. Although he missed the end of June and early July, he came back on Saturday and looked fine. Before last night’s game, Francisco had posted a 2.00 ERA since June 1.

He’s not one of the best closers in baseball, but he’s decent. I would be perfectly fine with him sticking around next season as the closer. He’s not as expensive as some of the other high-profile closers and he’s also pretty good. If he can stay healthy, I want him in the bullpen for the 2013 season.

Bobby Parnell

Parnell has finally settled into his role in the bullpen and looks like he could be a decent setup man. In the past, he just threw gas to get him by, but now he has looked like more of a pitcher this season, as opposed to a “thrower.” Combine that with the fact that he will be very cheap and you have someone to keep around.

Parnell is finally finding a place for himself. I wouldn’t trust him as a closer based on his past experiences, but he is a solid setup man for sure.

Ramon Ramirez

Ramon Ramirez has definitely not had his best season, but Sandy Alderson should bring him back net year if he is cheap. If he asks for a one-year deal for two to three million, I’d be perfectly fine with that.

Ramirez has a great track record as a relief pitcher, going all the way back to his age 24 season in 2006. No, he hasn’t been particularly great this year, but he has shown improvement and his track record is too big to ignore. Again, this is only if he won’t cost the Mets much.

Josh Edgin

Edgin, just 25, has been very impressive this season. Edgin, unlike past lefty relievers, throws very hard, with his fastball clocked at 95 MPH and a really good slider. Not only does he has the stuff to succeed, but so far, he has succeeded.

I really think Edgin can be more than just a one-out left-hander. He isn’t a Tim Byrdak or Pedro Feliciano. He can be a reliable setup man who can go one, or even two innings when needed.

I’m very excited to Edgin’s future. He will be under team control for quite a few years. There really isn’t any reason why he shouldn’t be on next year’s roster.

The Rest

I wrestled with the idea of including Jon Rauch on this list. He has a 2.45 ERA since June 1, after having a terrible April and May. However, he will likely get an offer to be a full-time close and he will probably take it. The Mets will probably still be on a tight budget this winter, and if Rauch is being offered closer’s money, Sandy Alderson won’t be able to match. I would like Rauch on the roster, but it’s unlikely that he would re-sign, especially if he keeps pitching so well.

Now, we are getting into the junk. We’ve gone through all the consistent (maybe “consistent” is a little generous) pitchers on the roster. The guys the are left are the Manny Acostas and Elvin Ramirezes of the world. Definitely guys not worth even thinking about re-signing this off-season.

Looking back at this list, I realized that most of the bullpen will probably be back next season, which I’m actually fine with. Sandy Alderson does need to find a legitimate setup man to go along with Parnell and Edgin, but the bullpen has a solid core going for it. It’s really been the guys on the fringes of the roster (i.e. Miguel Batista) who have hurt this team the most. Manny Acosta, for example, despite not being with the team for almost two whole months, is still second in all of baseball in runs allowed as a relief pitcher. That’s astonishing. Him, Batista, Elvin Ramirez, and others have also been awful with the Mets so far.

Hopefully, next year, the bullpen won’t be such a hot topic. Maybe we will be talking about the bullpen as a strength as opposed to a weakness.

Aug 5

Morning Recap: Hefner Pitches Well, Mets Beat Padres 6-2

[iframe src=”http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=350&w=475&date=2012-08-04&team=Padres&dh=0” width=”475” height=”350”]

Final Score: Mets 6, Padres 2

Player Of The Game: Daniel Murphy- 4-for-4, 2 R

Goat Of The Game: Andres Torres- 0-for-4, 3 K


  • The Mets knocked out Padres starter Edinson Volquez very early. Volquez had awful command, walking four batters in just 1.2 innings.
  • Walks were a theme on the night for the Mets. They walked a total of ten times. Mike Baxter along walked 5 times.
  • Jeremy Hefner pitched very well, allowing just one run over six innings. He may not have been the most high-profile pickup this winter, but he has done a great job filling in while Johan Santana has been on the DL.
  • Frank Francisco entered the game with one out in the ninth and recorded his 19th save of the season.
  • The Mets play the Padres in the series finals today at 4:05. Matt Harvey (1-1, 1.59 ERA) will go up against Jason Marquis (4-6, 4.08 ERA).

Morning Mets Links: 7.19.12

(NOTE: I’m trying out a new format for the morning links. Let me know what you think.)

Here are this morning’s Morning Mets Links:

  • Frank Francisco will probably not return until August with a left oblique injury. Francisco recently suffered a setback and will not begin his rehab assignment until next Friday. That leaves an already consistently awful bullpen shorthanded even longer. (MLB.com)
  • Terry Collins called a rare team meeting yesterday down in Washington, in part to discuss an “issue” between Pedro Beato and Josh Thole regarding Tuesday’s extra-inning loss to the Nats. (Star-Ledger)
  • We were all wondering why Jon Rauch didn’t pitch in Tuesday night’s game. Apparently, RAuch had his knees drained and wasn’t available. (MetsBlog)
  • Sandy Alderson may still be torn about how to go about the trade market this season. We are just under two weeks away from the deadline and Alderson hasn’t made any moves, and isn’t close to making any deals. He is trying to keep a balance between winning now and winning in the future. (Star-Ledger)
  • Adam Rubin writes an interesting piece on Mets prospect Collin McHugh. McHugh has had some stellar seasons down in the minors, but has largely been overlooked by fans because he doesn’t have great “stuff” like Zack Wheeler and others. (ESPN New York)
  • Adam Rubin also sat down with Paul DePodesta, the head of player development for the Mets in a two part series about the Mets system, the draft, etc. In the first part of the interview, DePo touched on a recent hot topic around baseball. He talked about innings limits, and how he likes to look at the difficulty, not just the quantity of innings that young pitchers throw. He also talked about Jenrry Mejia's various roles and where he may end up long-term. (Part 1, Part 2)
  • Over at Amazin’ Avenue, Chris McShane  made his case to give Manny Acosta a second chance in the big leagues. He mentioned the extraordinarily high BABIP that opposing hitters had against him. Luck may have been a part of his rough season. (Amazin’ Avenue)
  • 'Spinsanity is catching on… well sort of. Joe D at MetsMerized Online writes about how Jordany Valdespin's electrifying stretch of games has him excited for his future. (MetsMerized Online)

Morning Links: 7.14.12



Jul 8

Morning Links: 7.8.12

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”512”] DOMINATION[/caption]



Jul 6

Morning Links: 7.6.12

[caption id=”” align=”alignnone” width=”540”] Back and as mediocre as ever![/caption]


Opinion pieces:

Morning News: Bobby’s The Closer, Mets Add Lefty To ‘Pen, Murph Shaves The Stache

It’s Bobby’s Job

According to Adam Rubin, Terry Collins has made Bobby Parnell the exclusive close in the absence of Frank Francisco. No Jon Rauch. No Ramon Ramirez. None of that. It’s Bobby Parnell’s job to lose.

He really struggled in the closer role last season, blowing six of 12 save opportunities, but I honestly feel he is ready now. He has really worked this year to stop being the “thrower” that he was last year and become more of a pitcher. He’s been the only one that’s stepped up this season in the Mets bullpen, too. No one else really deserves this job.

Mets Add Hampson To ‘Pen

The Mets added lefty Justin Hampson to the roster early yesterday, designating Vinny Rottino for assignment. Mets fans have been calling for Hampson for quite a while, in awe of his impressive performance with the Bisons.

Terry Collins now has two lefty options in the bullpen, and won’t hesitate to use one like he did in the Yankees series.

Murphy’s Stache Is No More

It ends here. Good riddance.

Morning News: Mets Edged By Yanks, Bay Is Getting Better, Byrdak’s Chicken

Every morning, we give you the top three stories from Mets-land. Here are this morning’s headlines.

Mets Drop Middle Game To Yankees

The Mets lost to the Yankees last night 4-3.

Chris Young started and pitched very well through six, but gave up a three-run home run to Raul Ibanez in the seventh to tie the game up at three. Jon Rauch came in and allowed another home run later in the inning, giving the Yankees a 4-3 advantage that they would hold.

The Mets send R.A. Dickey to the hill in what could be a pitching duel for the ages as he faces off against C.C. Sabathia in an ESPN game.

Jason Bay Feeling Better

Jason Bay is feeling much better after suffering a concussion last week. Jason has been showing up at the ballpark over the past few days, and is reportedly “symptom free.”

No timetable has been set for his return.

Byrdak Buys A Chicken?

Apparently after Frank Francisco made his chicken comments about the Yankees earlier this week, Tim Byrdak bought a live chicken. Byrdak sent someone to Chinatown, who got one for $8. It’s name is “Little Jerry Seinfeld.”

Little Jerry had a fun day at Citi Field, running around the clubhouse and being fed berries, bread and oatmeal by the team chef.

Byrdak is now trying to find a permanent home for the chicken.

Morning News: Mets Sweep O’s, Injury News, Minor League Moves

Every morning, we’ll give you the top three stories from Mets-land, as well news and notes from around Major League Baseball. 

The Mets finished off their sweep of the Orioles last night by a score of 4-3. Dillon Gee got the start and tossed 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He also struck out nine and walked two.

David Wright had a big day at the plate, going 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He raised his batting average to .358. Scott Hairston was the only other Met to have multiple hits. He had two doubles and an RBI.

By the way, Frank Francisco almost blew it, allowing a run in the ninth. Thankfully, he made it out alive and so did the Mets.

With the win, the Mets are still three games behind the Nationals, who beat the Rays last night.

There was plenty of injury news yesterday. Here are the “highlights”:

The Mets made a flurry of minor league moves yesterday. St. Lucie third baseman Wilmer Flores was part of a four-player group who were promoted to Double-A Binghamton yesterday. Wilfredo Tovar, Francisco Pena, and pitcher Cory Mazzoni also got the call to Bingo.

Flores, who was recently named MVP of last Saturday’s 51st annual Florida State League All-Star game, is hitting .289 on the season with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.

To replace these four players on the roster, the Mets moved up Travis Taijeron, T.J. Rivera, Rafael Montero, and Jeff Walters from Savannah to Port St. Lucie.

Expect the Mets to also move players up from Brooklyn to Savannah later today.

In other baseball news- It’s official. Brandon Beachy will need Tommy John surgery. The right-hander saw Dr. James Andrews this week to get a second opinion. Beachy was 5-5 this season with a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have groin surgery today, and will be out indefinitely. Tulowitzki hurt his groin on May 30, and had to pull himself from a rehab stint last week because of discomfort. He is hitting .278 this season with eight home runs and 27 RBI.

Roy Oswalt will make his debut for the Rangers on Friday against the Colorado Rockies. Oswalt, who hasn’t pitched this season, signed a one-year deal with the Rangers this spring.


Series Preview: Mets Take Their Struggling ‘Pen Back Home to Face Brewers

Tonight, the Mets begin a brief two-game set  against the Brewers at Citi Field.

The Brewers are a team that has been riddled with injuries. After losing Prince Fielder this offseason to the Detroit Tigers, the Brewers needed everyone on their roster healthy and productive more than most teams. However, Mat Gamel, once thought to be the heir apparent to Fielder at first base, recently suffered a torn ACL which will cause him to miss the rest of the season. Starting shortstop Alex Gonzalez, a new addition that was brought in to supply some veteran leadership, as well as an RBI threat, also has a torn ACL and won’t be ready until next season as well. Lastly, Carlos Gomez, the former Met who has made himself into a Gold Glove contender defender, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury for the past week and a half.

With the lack of offense this year, the Brewers have also needed to rely on their ace, Yovani Gallardo, to carry the load, which he has failed to do. He has a 5.35 ERA in 28.2 innings this season to go along with a 1.55 WHIP. Compare this to his performance last season, in which he went 17-10 along with a 3.52 ERA, and you have a big disappointment. The only bright spots for the Brewers has been the performances of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, two pitchers the Brewers snagged from the American League a few years back. Marcum has a 3.07 ERA in 44 innings this season, while Greinke has a respectable 3.35 ERA over 43 innings this season.

Here are the pitching matchups for these two games:

Game 1- Tonight 7:10

Miguel Batista (18.1 IP, 5.89 ERA, 2.13 WHIP, .338 BAA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (38.2 IP, 5.35 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .284 BAA)

Game 2- Tuesday 7:10

Dillon Gee (37.2 IP, 4.78 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, .296 BAA) vs. Zack Greinke (43 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .252 BAA)


Here’s a table comparing the two teams:




.270 (5th in MLB)


.237 (23rd in MLB)

.343 (3rd in MLB)


.312 (15th in MLB)

.392 (13th in MLB)


.412 (9th in MLB)

4.25 (25th in MLB)


4.62 (26th in MLB)

1.14 (26th in MLB)


1.45 (27th in MLB)

19 (13th in MLB)


18 (17th in MLB)

More notes…

—Don’t be surprised if Terry Collins tries some new tactics with the bullpen in this series. After last night’s awful performance/blowup of Frank Francisco, we may be seeing a change in who closes games from now on, which I think is a good thing. I’m not sure Francisco was the right fit from the start. He is eerily similar to Armando Benitez. He keeps you on the edge of your seat whenever he pitches, putting the team in a bad position often at the beginning of innings. In his first blown save against the Marlins over the weekend, he gave up a leadoff double to Giancarlo Stanton that set the tone for the Marlins in that inning and then again last night, giving up the leadoff triple to Emilio Bonifacio. You just can’t do that as a closer, or any type of relief pitcher for that matter. The ejection from the game was also a sign of Francisco’s growing frustration with himself. Maybe a little break from closing games will help him clear his mind.

—Wow, is David Wright hitting! He had another great series down in Miami over the weekend, raising his average from .376 to an even .400. He also had a home run in the second game, and has been making some fantastic plays in the field. His range and the accuracy of his arm have been unbelievable so far this year.

Daniel Murphy has also been quietly putting things together at the plate. Murphy is in the middle of a nine-game hitting streak, and was 8-12 against Miami over the weekend. He is hitting .405 in his last ten games.

—Go Mets!

Apr 5

Opening Day Tweetcap: Mets Win 1-0 Behind Wright RBI single, Strong Outing From Santana

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/SurfingTheMets/status/187942456300544001”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/MattDunnSNY/status/187898488116363265”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/DPLennon/status/187976861647769600”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/JerseyJBradley/status/187978117770526720”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/kcopen/status/187988432902041601”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/metsblog/status/187990045603528705”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/UpAlongFirst/status/187991455556579328”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/VinnyCartiglia/status/187992398478061569”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/metsfanmurph/status/187992553533095936”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/MazzESPN/status/187992267464785921”]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Mets/status/187989318252494849”]

Nice start to what will hopefully be a promising season. Let’s go Mets!

Post-Game: Cardinals 6 Mets 6

The Mets and Cardinals tied today in ten innings down in Florida.

THE GOOD: Lucas Duda hit an absolute bomb in the bottom of the fourth inning to dead center field, over the 408 feet sign. If a barrier hadn’t been there to block the shot, it would’ve gone another 20 feet. It was a very impressive display of power for the up-and-coming slugger.

THE BAD: Jason Bay continued his spring struggles today, going 0-4 with a strikeout. Bay has vowed to not make major changes to his swing this spring, no matter how badly he struggles. Bay is hitting .240 this spring.


Mike Pelfrey- 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 K

Pelfrey had a good first two innings, but was rocky after that, giving up four in the third after loading the bases a couple of times, and gave up another run in the fifth inning. 59 of his 79 pitches were strikes. Today’s start lowered his spring ERA to 11.49.

Lance Lynn- 4.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, K

THE GAME BALL: Ike Davis- 2-3, Three-run home run, BB

Today’s game ball goes to Ike Davis, who had two hit in three at-bats, as well as a walk. Davis hit a three-run bomb to left center in the first. The home run was Davis’ first of the spring.


  • Frank Francisco blew save in the ninth inning. At 6-5, Francisco came in and allowed a run to make the score 6-6, which ended up being the final score.
  • Lucas Duda went 2-4 with a solo shot in the fourth inning.
  • Bobby Parnell looked good as he tossed a scoreless seventh inning.
  • Both the Mets and Cardinals both committed three errors.


Overall, the Mets looked good as a team. today. Pelfrey wasn’t good… again, but we’ve all come to expect that from Pelfrey, especially in the spring. Ike Davis seems to be getting into regular season form now. He should have a big season. There is no reason why he shouldn’t. Lucas Duda, who also should have a big year, had a nice game today, too.