Sandy Alderson pulls the trigger on K-Rod way too soon. With the Mets welcoming in the Phillies this weekend they are now without a bonafide closer and facing certain 2011 demise at the hands of their division rivals. 2 players to be named later with The Mets sending cash to the Brewers does not justify throwing in the towel on July 13th. This team battled through injuries having multiple role players like Murphy and Justin Turner step up to maintain the pulse of the team alive and now the beginning of the end comes from a self inflicted mortal wound by the hands of their own general manager.
This move definitely deflates the spirit of the little-engine-that-could persona this Mets team adopted, making it above .500 to the all-star break. It is more surprising that Sandy Alderson didn’t try to hold on to K-Rod just a bit longer knowing that Wright, Ike and even possibly Santana are looking better in their re-habs and could possibly have offered a boost to a team looking to contend for a wild card spot certainly within reach.
This doesn’t look feasible any longer as the closing duties will fall to either Bobby Parnell or Jason Isringhausen. Bobby Parnell is a hard thrower but lacks experience and has not even been consistent in a set up role, so how he is expected to perform well in highly pressurized situations is a question that does not bode well for the Mets at this point in the season. Jason Isringhausen has not closed games since 2008 and due to his deteriorating physical condition cannot be expected to pitch in too many consecutive games putting further strain on an already weak bullpen missing the likes of Taylor Bucholz (anxiety).
Sandy Alderson may look back on this deal and wish he could’ve taken it back and waited just a little bit longer not just to see what better return he would’ve been garnered given the change in standings and rosters due to injuries among other teams but the impact that it will have on team’s performance and ultimately on Citi Field attendance as they will now certainly struggle to close games without a prominent set up man and become irrelevant and forgotten.
Francisco Rodriguez had his ups and downs in New York and certainly the controversial fight with his in-law at the stadium will greatly shadow a part of his time in NY but his work on the field was solid, he rarely made it look pretty but at the end of the day he got the job done and that’s something the Mets will miss, and miss it even more now when your team is barely hanging on for life, a life Sandy may have decided to end, just a bit too soon.