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In 2010, Omar Minaya's last season as GM, Mets relievers were fifth in the National League with a 3.59 ERA.

The bullpen has a 4.31 ERA since Sandy Alderson was hired, which is second-worst in baseball during that time.

“The bullpen has not been good over the last several years,” Alderson said before Monday's game. “It needs to get better.”

Well, I'm glad he understands the problem, because his approach to the bullpen the last three years was dreadful. This year, though, I think they have the right idea, thanks in large part to developing so many young pitchers. I also like Jose Valverde. I think he was misused last year. Terry Collins knows this, intends to adjust, and I think we're going to be very happy with how it works out. Vic Black can be good, so long as he's throwing strikes. And guys like Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett, Josh Edgin, Jake Leathersich, Jake deGrom and others, will give Alderson low-risk, high-reward options to mix and match during the next few years. Scouts rave about the potential of these arms, so I'm hopeful it can work like it has in St. Louis.

In the meantime, while Monday was bad, it was uncharacteristically bad. Yes, it was a blown save and lead, which we're all too familiar with. But, the way it happened was not typical. Carlos Torres and Scott Rice rarely walk guys the way they did Opening Day, so I'm holding out hope it was an anomaly. Also, Jeurys Familia gave up two dink hits that could be outs any other night. There was a passed ball, and Bobby Parnell was clearly pitching with an injury. These are all things I'm willing to see as freak occurrences, at least to the extent that they'll all occur, all the time, every game, every time a Mets reliever takes the mound. They'll be better than Monday. How much better? I don't know. But, they will be better than that... they have to be.

In the first three years as GM of the Mets, Alderson spent two-thirds of his free-agent money on relief pitchers, with only 10 of 39 relievers coming from his farm system >> Read more in Newsday.

Tags: matthewcerrone, avsny, MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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