I didn’t write much about the Mets collapse this season (mostly because I wasn’t writing much at all during September). If I did, I would have definitely focused on the disaster of a bullpen New York kept running out there.
But now the Mets have supposedly solved those problems by signing Francisco Rodriguez, the single-season saves leader.
But here’s the thing -- K-Rod doesn’t solve all the Mets problems. Last season, when he saved his record 62 games, he was essentially a 1-inning pitcher. He didn’t record a single save of more than 3 outs. That’s not a top-line closer -- that’s just a team involved in too many close games.
K-Rod also has other noticeable flaws: his K-BB ratio (2.26:1) isn’t particularly good for a closer. He still averages better than a strikeout an inning, but he walks a guy every other inning. Closers shouldn’t be walking guys that often. Also, his velocity drops pretty badly when he pitches on consecutive games -- I’m no expert, but that’s the sign of an injury, or at least the precursor to one.
Now, I’m not completely down on the K-Rod signing -- actually, quite the opposite -- but it’s not the panacea some people are making it out to be. The Mets still have problems from the 6th through 8th innings. They need another reliable bullpen arm before they can really say they’re in good shape there. Then, they just need another starter or two... a good second baseman... a corner outfielder... yeah, they’re totally fine.