Alderson targets improved bullpen depth for 2014
Black, Germen provide late-inning options after closer Parnell goes down
NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday he would like to have more quality arms in the bullpen next season. While the bullpen showed improvement in 2013, it still wasn't as deep as the Mets would've liked.
Mets relievers posted a 3.98 ERA this season, fourth highest in the National League.
"The key will be to have more quality arms out there we can rely on in a variety of roles," Alderson said.
Once Bobby Parnell suffered a herniated disk in his neck that ultimately required surgery and Carlos Torres was slotted into the starting rotation, the bullpen started thinning out.
Alderson has said he expects Parnell to be ready for the start of Spring Training, though manager Terry Collins expressed some worry that Parnell might not. Collins began giving Vic Black, whom the Mets acquired as part of the trade that sent John Buck and Marlon Byrd to the Pirates, some late-game situations and he pitched well.
Black finished the season 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA in 15 appearances with the Mets. The right-hander struck out 12 batters in 13 innings after joining New York.
"I think we saw enough of Parnell and we saw enough of some other guys that pitched in that role to be comfortable that if we have three or four guys of Bobby's quality, we should be in pretty good shape," Alderson said. "We need to have more quality arms in the bullpen."
Collins lauded the job Gonzalez Germen did out of the bullpen. The 25-year-old had a 3.93 ERA over 29 appearances. Germen also had 33 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings pitched.
"I thought Gonzalez Germen came up and did a very, very good job out of the bullpen," Collins said.
The Mets already have some quality relievers going into next season, but Alderson still aims to bolster the bullpen.
"We never had a really strong bottom half of the bullpen," Alderson said.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.