Results tagged ‘ Brandon Lyon ’

Looking at relievers? The Mets are, too.

Among the nuggets general manager Sandy Alderson dropped in a phone interview earlier this week was the fact that the Mets expect to sign a veteran reliever to a Major League deal — not a Minor League deal, as they plan to do to fill out their the rotation.

Luckily for us, the Brewers are in the same position, and MLB.com beat reporter Adam McCalvy has already come up with this comprehensive list of veteran relievers with closing experience — something important, though not necessarily essential to a Mets team still trying to figure out what Bobby Parnell can provide post-surgery.

Below is McCalvy’s list, along with his primers on each one. You may recognize many of the names, including David Aardsma, Luis Ayala, Frank Francisco, Brandon Lyon, Jon Rauch and Francisco Rodriguez:

David Aardsma (69 career saves): The 32-year-old Aardsma had a nice comeback with the Mets last season after rehabbing from July 2011 Tommy John surgery. He made 43 appearances with a 4.31 ERA. But he has not been a closer since he saved 38 games in 2009 and 31 games in 2010 for the Mariners.

Luis Ayala (19 saves): He logged nine of his saves for the Mets in 2008 and has only one save since then, but has been a steady big league reliever since bouncing between three teams in a dismal 2010. Over the past three seasons, Ayala has made 157 appearances for the Yankees, Orioles and Braves with a 2.58 ERA and a solid ground ball rate. He spent time on the disabled list last season because of an anxiety disorder and turns 36 next week, but is seeking a Major League contract.

Andrew Bailey (89 saves): Non-tendered by the Red Sox in December, Bailey is the first of the comeback candidates on this list. He made 30 appearances and logged eight saves before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery shortly after the All-Star break, the latest of a series of medical concerns that have dogged his career. Bailey probably will not be healthy by the start of the season.

Grant Balfour (72 saves): He is the best closer left on the market and the most familiar name on this list because Balfour briefly pitched for the Brewers in 2007. The price tag is a big problem. The 36-year-old, who has posted an ERA of 2.59 or better in four straight seasons, agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Orioles before Christmas, but it reportedly fell apart when Baltimore had concerns about Balfour’s shoulder. He insists he is healthy.

Rafael Betancourt (74 saves): The right-hander, 39 in April, was to undergo Tommy John surgery in September in attempt to save his career. He probably will have to wait until his age 40 season in 2015 to give it a try.

Manny Corpas (34 saves): Corpas preceded Betancourt as Rockies closer, but has not logged a save since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. He pitched for the Cubs in 2012 before returning to the Rockies in 2013 for 31 appearances and a respectable 1.344 WHIP. The Rockies outrighted Corpas from the 40-man roster in October.

Octavio Dotel (109 saves): Missed most of the 2013 season with a right elbow injury. As of last check in September, Dotel was trying to avoid Tommy John surgery and planned to pitch in winter ball, but has not appeared in any box scores.

Kyle Farnsworth (54 saves): Farnsworth turns 38 on April 14 and his fastball velocity has come down a bit in the last three years, but he finished last season strong for the Pirates (one run on six hits and three walks with nine strikeouts in nine appearances) and would be available on a one-year deal. MLB Trade Rumors reported last week that six to eight clubs have some interest in Farnsworth, who saved 25 games with a 2.18 ERA for Tampa Bay in 2011.

Frank Francisco (73 saves): The former Rangers, Blue Jays and Mets closer missed most of 2013 recovering from an elbow injury. The season before, he made $5.5 million and had a 5.53 ERA.

Michael Gonzalez (56 saves): He signed with the Brewers for 2012, was well-liked by teammates and led the club with 75 appearances, but allowed a.274 average against left-handed hitters and a 1.035 opponents’ OPS after the All-Star break. The Brewers are not interested in bringing Gonzalez back.

Kevin Gregg (177 saves): Gregg signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs in April after the Dodgers released him, and eventually helped Chicago overcome Carlos Marmol’s struggles. He logged 33 saves with a 3.48 ERA in 62 games, including two saves and one blown save against the Brewers. The Brewers have been linked to Gregg before.

Joel Hanrahan (100 saves): Another rehabber. Hanrahan, traded from the Pirates to the Red Sox in December 2012, underwent Tommy John surgery in May and reportedly will throw for teams in Spring Training to try to find a job.

Brandon Lyon (79 saves): The 34-year-old right-hander has a pair of 20-save seasons on his ledger, but has been a setup man since 2010. He made 37 appearances for the Mets last season with a 4.98 ERA and was released in July. His average fastball velocity fell from 90.2 mph in 2012 to 87.8 mph in 2013, according to data from FanGraphs.com.

Ryan Madson (52 saves): A shutdown setup man turned quality closer for the Phillies, Madson has not pitched since 2011. He signed with the Reds for 2012, but needed Tommy John surgery in Spring Training, then signed with the Angels for 2013, but never made it to the mound.

Carlos Marmol (117 saves): He was all but run out of Wrigley Field, but Marmol is only 31 (of pitchers on this list, only Bailey and Corpas are younger) and could be a good fit for a Brewers team willing to take a flier. He was very close in Chicago with Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who is entering the final season of his contract with Milwaukee and is represented by the same agent, Paul Kinzer. He was still throwing a 93.7 mph average fastball in 2013, when Marmol made 52 appearances for the Cubs and Dodgers with a 4.41 ERA, including a 2.53 ERA in 21 regular season games with the Dodgers. Melvin and Kinzer met at the Winter Meetings to discuss Marmol.

Brett Myers (40 saves): A serious elbow injury limited Myers to four appearances with the Indians in 2013, but he is looking to pitch in 2014, according to reports.

Jon Rauch (62 saves): The Brewers explored signing the 6-foot-11 right-hander last winter, but he went to the Marlins and posted a 7.56 ERA in 15 games before being released in May.

Fernando Rodney (172 saves): Life is good when a 37-save, 3.38 ERA season qualifies as a “down year,” but such is life after Rodney’s remarkable 2012 campaign. The fact he is seeking a multiyear deal probably puts him out of the Brewers’ price range.

Francisco Rodriguez (304 saves): The Brewers have already acquired K-Rod twice; in a trade with the Mets the night of the 2011 All-Star Game, and via a Minor League free agent contract last April. Rodriguez made it back to Milwaukee and helped stabilize the bullpen, posting a 1.09 ERA in 25 games before Melvin dealt him to the Orioles for third base prospect Nicky Delmonico. Rodriguez, who turned 32 on Tuesday, is represented by Scott Boras. Another return is quite possible; Melvin said he’s talked to Boras about Rodriguez this winter.

Jose Valverde (286 saves): Thirty-six in March, it appears Valverde’s best days are behind him. He pitched to a 5.59 ERA in 20 appearances for the Tigers last season before the team released him in August.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

Jeremy Hefner just may be the unluckiest man in baseball.

Three Up:
1. RHP Jeremy Hefner:  With Zack Wheeler waiting in the wings, Hefner just keeps on thriving. He holds a 3.60 ERA over his last eight starts, the first uninterrupted stretch of his career spent as a starting pitcher.

2. SS Omar Quintanilla: Have the Mets found their new leadoff man? Quintanilla’s history suggests that his hot streak is a fluke, but the Mets will certainly ride it for as long as it lasts.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: On a night when the closer did not do his job, the setup man certainly did. These guys get even less love than closers when they do their job, but the same amount of blame when they don’t.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Is the league’s streakiest hitter (or one of them, at least) heading into a cold snap? Just like that, he’s 0-for-13, dragging his average down 20 points or so.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: Terry Collins bumped Ankiel down to eighth in the lineup, but he might soon consider leaving him off the card altogether. If not for Adam LaRoche’s error, Ankiel would have finished 0-for-3 with a popup, a strikeout and a double play.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Parnell can’t be perfect every time. But his propensity for allowing leadoff doubles, even when he does convert the save, is somewhat troubling.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey
+5
C John Buck, OF Marlon Byrd, 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
INF Justin Turner,
RHP Jeremy Hefner, SS Omar Quintanilla
+2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Jon Niese, OF Mike Baxter, OF Lucas Duda
+1
LHP Robert Carson, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, 3B David Wright, LHP Scott Rice
-1
RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Collin McHugh
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Rick Ankiel
-13
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets lose two of three to Braves: Three Up, Three Down

A delayed reaction to this weekend’s series against the Braves:

Friday/Saturday: Braves 7, Mets 5
Three Up: RHP Jeremy Hefner, C John Buck, 2B Daniel Murphy
Three Down: RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Scott Rice, 1B Ike Davis

Saturday: Braves 6, Mets 0
Three Up: RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Mike Baxter
Three Down: RHP Dillon Gee, 3B David Wright, OF Marlon Byrd

Sunday: Mets 4, Braves 2
Three Up: 1B Ike Davis, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Lucas Duda
Three Down: OF Rick Ankiel, SS Ruben Tejada, 3B David Wright

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey, C John Buck
+5
 2B Daniel Murphy
+4
OF Marlon Byrd

+3
INF Justin Turner, OF Mike Baxter

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Juan Lagares, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, 3B David Wright
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Scott Rice, OF Lucas Duda
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Shaun Marcum
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-5
RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

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Reds 7, Mets 4: Three Up, Three Down

Today, on “As the Ike Turns”…

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Three hits, two runs, two RBI…a nice little game for the new leadoff man.

2. OF Rick Ankiel: Three extra-base hits, including the game-tying RBI triple.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: A fine relief effort for Lyon, who struck out a pair in his 1-2-3 inning.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Is Ike’s offense spilling into his defense? More and more, that seems to be the case.

2. RHP Bobby Parnell: The game-winning rally was not necessarily his fault, but Shin-Soo Choo’s leadoff double certainly did not help.

3. 3B David Wright: A fat 0-for-4 in the middle of the lineup was not what this struggling offense needed.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
RHP Matt Harvey
+5
OF Marlon Byrd, C John Buck
+4
2B Daniel Murphy, 3B David Wright

+3
INF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Mike Baxter, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Scott Rice
+1
LHP Jon Niese, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Greg Burke, OF Rick Ankiel
-1
RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Bobby Parnell
-2
LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Jordany Valdespin, C Anthony Recker, SS Ruben Tejada
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Dillon Gee
-14
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Pirates 3, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

Meet the new lineup, same as the old lineup.

Three Up:
1. RHP Matt Harvey: Clearly pitching without his best stuff, Harvey still managed to hold the Pirates to two runs in seven innings. He is without question the ace of this staff.

2. OF Lucas Duda: Duda was the only one who could touch Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez, homering in the second. And he nearly tied the game with a rocket ground ball off the first base bag in the eighth. Instead, an unlucky bounce led to the out.

3. OF Mike Baxter: Despite starting only two games over the past week, Baxter has come through with two game-winning and one game-tying RBI. Calls for increased playing time are not off-base.

Three Down:
1. 1B Ike Davis: Terry Collins put the onus on Davis when he moved him back to the cleanup spot. The first baseman responded with an 0-for-4 day, including a huge strikeout with a man on third base and one out in the ninth.

2. RHP Bobby Parnell: Collins put Parnell in a tough spot, bringing him in with the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth. All it took was a hard-hit single, which the closer allowed to Pedro Alvarez.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: He and Scott Rice each faced two batters, walking one of them. But while Rice’s walk came against perennial All-Star Andrew McCutchen, Lyon’s came against Gaby Sanchez, a .167 hitter against right-handed pitching.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+6
C John Buck
+5
3B David Wright, RHP Matt Harvey
+4
IF Justin Turner
+3
OF Mike Baxter

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, OF Juan Lagares, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, C Anthony Recker, OF Jordany Valdespin, OF Lucas Duda
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Dillon Gee, 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RHP Shaun Marcum

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-8
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 3, Pirates 2: Three Up, Three Down

Meet Mike Baxter. He’s the walk-off singles guy.

Three Up:
1. OF Mike Baxter: If the Mets need a home run in the later innings, they call on Jordany Valdespin. If they need a single, they call on Baxter, who continues to be one of the more valuable left-handed pinch-hitters in baseball.

2. OF Juan Lagares: That catch in center field saved the game. Lagares is receiving regular playing time almost exclusively because of his defensive reputation, and he justified it in the ninth inning Thursday.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: He may have given up the tying run, but he entered with the bases loaded and no outs and allowed nothing more than that. That makes him one of the most valuable players of this game.

Three Down:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Four at-bats, four ground balls to first base This is one streaky hitter, who is having miserable start to the month of May.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: An 0-for-4 from Tejada meant the Mets absorbed an 0-for-8 from the first two batters in their lineup. That’s typically a recipe for a loss, though the Mets managed to recover.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: Sure he earned the win with a scoreless inning. He also gave up a leadoff hit and a rocket fly ball to center, which probably should have cost the Mets the game. It was actually one of his worst-pitched innings of the season, which says more about Parnell’s year than anything else. He’s been terrific.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+7
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright, RHP Matt Harvey, IF Justin Turner

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Scott Rice, OF Mike Baxter
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, LHP Jon Niese, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF Juan Lagares
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Brandon Lyon
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Lucas Duda, 2B Daniel Murphy
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-7
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Mets 7, Braves 5: Three Up, Three Down

Terry Collins called this one the win of the year. It certainly felt that way for the Mets.

Three Up:
1. OF Jordany Valdespin: He makes so many mistakes throughout the course of a week, and yet it’s impossible to ignore this guy’s energy. Valdespin’s steal of second base was a critical play in the 10th inning, directly leading to the winning run.

2. 3B David Wright: A game-tying, ninth-inning home run against a guy who does not give up home runs? That was Captain America’s contribution to the win.

3. RHP Bobby Parnell: With all due respect to Jeurys Familia’s first career save, it was Parnell who entered with one out and the winning run on third base in the 10th. A popup and a groundout later, and the Mets were out of the jam.

Three Down:
1. RHP Shaun Marcum: A noted control expert, Marcum has now walked six batters in 10 innings this season. He is averaging five innings per start, which is taxing the bullpen and simply not getting it done.

2. 1B Justin Turner: Once again starting over Ike Davis, Turner finished with a rare 0-for-3 before giving way to a pinch-hitter. He entered the game with a .419 average in games that he started, versus a .143 mark coming off the bench.

3. RHP Brandon Lyon: Not a good day for the setup man, who coughed up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, then needed Parnell’s help to avoid doing so again in the ninth. Lyon’s ERA is slowly creeping up near five.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
3B David Wright
+3
RHP Matt Harvey

+2
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd, LHP Scott Rice, LHP Jon Niese, SS Ruben Tejada, INF Justin Turner
+1
RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Bobby Parnell
-1
RHP Scott Atchison, OF Lucas Duda
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Mike Baxter, C Anthony Recker, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Brandon Lyon
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

-4
LHP Josh Edgin
-6
1B Ike Davis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Dodgers 7, Mets 2: Three Up, Three Down

Mark Ellis  = nemesis.

Three Up:
1. 2B Daniel Murphy: Hit machine Murphy did it again with the bat, coming through with a big RBI single off Clayton Kershaw in the third inning. He also did it with the glove, making a nice backhand stab and jump-throw to rob Andre Ethier of a hit in the fourth.

2. SS Ruben Tejada: Maybe Terry Collins was right when he chalked up Tejada’s defensive struggles to the cold weather earlier this season. Tejada has impressed defensively so far this homestand, making two more outstanding plays Tuesday.

3. LHP Robert Carson: Jokes aside, the seven-pitch walk he drew off Kershaw in the third inning put New York’s offense in motion. He also did just fine on the mound, stretching out to 2 1/3 innings before allowing a homer to the final man he faced.

Three Down:
1. RHP Brandon Lyon: He’s been great this season, so consider this a blip. But Lyon could not escape a jam of his own making in the seventh inning, serving up the game-winning three-run homer to Ellis.

2. LHP Josh Edgin: This has been some forgettable run for Edgin, and there’s a decent chance it could earn him a ticket back to the minors. Dating back to April 16, Edgin has recorded eight outs, given up nine hits and allowed nine runs.

3. OF Marlon Byrd: Over his last six games, Byrd is 4-for-20 with nine strikeouts and no walks. Four of those outs and two of the strikeouts came Tuesday against the Dodgers.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+8
C John Buck
+4
RHP Matt Harvey, 2B Daniel Murphy

+2
INF Justin Turner, LHP Scott Rice, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Marlon Byrd
+1
LHP Jon Niese, 3B David Wright, OF Collin Cowgill, LHP Robert Carson
-1
RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dillon Gee, OF Mike Baxter, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Brandon Lyon, SS Ruben Tejada
-2
RHP Greg Burke, LHP Aaron Laffey, OF Lucas Duda
-3
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Jordany Valdespin

-5
1B Ike Davis, LHP Josh Edgin

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Projecting the Opening Day roster, 2/5

For the first time this offseason, let us present a roster projection that should actually closely resemble what the Mets deploy on Opening Day. The bullpen has undergone a major overhaul, and I’ve included Brandon Lyon below despite the fact that he has yet to sign an actual contract. That appears little more than a formality at this point.

Once a point of complete speculation, the bullpen, with Lyon and friends in tow, now seems relatively straightforward. Though 40-man roster limitations may prevent all of the veterans listed below from making the team, most of them should be there come April 1. And outside of the bullpen, there really are very few position battles in camp.

The only major change that could occur between now and Opening Day would be if the Mets sign free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn. But that remains a long-shot.

C : John Buckbrandonlyonastros
1B: Ike Davis
2B: Daniel Murphy
SS: Ruben Tejada
3B: David Wright
OF: Lucas Duda
OF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
OF: Mike Baxter
Bench: Collin Cowgill
Bench: Andrew Brown
Bench: Justin Turner
Bench: Brandon Hicks
Bench: Anthony Recker

SP: Johan Santana
SP: Jon Niese
SP: Matt Harvey
SP: Dillon Gee
SP: Shaun Marcum
RP: Frank Francisco
RP: Bobby Parnell
RP: Brandon Lyon
RP: Scott Atchison
RP: LaTroy Hawkins
RP: Pedro Feliciano
RP: Josh Edgin

In the running: C Landon Powell, 1B Josh Satin, INF Zach Lutz, INF Brian Bixler, INF/OF Jordany Valdespin, OF Matt den Dekker, RHP Greg Burke, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Collin McHugh, RHP Elvis Ramirez, RHP Carlos Torres, LHP Aaron Laffey, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Darin Gorski.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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