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Sandy Alderson is optimistic this year's bullpen will be an improvement over last year's bullpen, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

“I think we have a little more confidence in the bullpen than we had toward the end of spring training last year,” Alderson told Puma. “It’s all about performance in the regular season, but it seems that we have a better assortment of veteran arms and we’ve got several pitchers from both the right and left side coming up through the system to give us a lot more depth and are competing for a spot in the bullpen, so that’s a very different situation than we had last year.”

Last year, the bullpen's 4.65 ERA ranked 29th in Major League Baseball.

In regards to Jeurys Familia, Alderson seems to prefer going with a veteran right now, which would allow Familia to continue to develop as a reliever in the minor leagues.

"If you believe they can benefit from some additional development at the minor league level because of a change in position from going to the rotation to the pen, it’s nice to have that veteran who can give you some options," Alderson explained.

There's no way to predict how the bullpen will perform once the season starts. But I think the strategy Alderson employed to construct this bullpen is better than the one he used to build last season's bullpen. It's low-risk and he has created options, both at the big league level and in the minor leagues. There are still questions as far as roles and durability among those who are likely breaking camp with the team, but the flexibility (and lower cost relievers) in place should make it easier to mitigate those potential problems.

As for Familia, Alderson is making it sound like he will not make the team out of camp, which is pretty much what I expected all along. I agree with why he probably should go to Las Vegas - he only transitioned to a reliever when he got his cup of coffee with the Mets last September. And, while his power arm is intriguing and he has had a solid spring, the Mets can burn an option so to allow him more time to refine his secondary pitches and get more comfortable in a short-relief role.

Tags: MetsBlog
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