The Mets have made it official, naming right-hander Blaine Boyer their final member of the Opening Day bullpen.
Boyer sat down with MetsBlog's Rich Coutinho for a one-on-one conversation about making the team, which you can listen to here.
He really sounds excited to be here and believes that he has turned a corner in his career thanks to pitching coach Dan Warthen. He also said that "we have a very good team... nobody needs to write us off, that's for sure."
Terry Collins spoke to Mets bloggers during a conference call Tuesday night and added the following: "Blaine Boyer – he’s never been so excited, and said he’s never wanted to make a team like he has with the Mets here."
Boyer has pitched extremely well this spring and is very deserved of the final bullpen spot. I am happy for him as a fan, and I'm glad to see how appreciative he is for the opportunity to put on a Mets uniform.
Jason Isringhausen has decided to stay in Port St. Lucie and report to extended spring training for two more weeks. The 38-year-old former Mets prospect has come full circle in his career, and has been one of the best feel-good stories of the spring.
Said Izzy to reporters this morning: "I've come this far, two weeks ain't going to kill me."
Isringhausen has pitched great this spring as well, after showing up at camp in February and throwing a try-out session to prove his elbow was healthy enough top pitch.
He will allow the Mets the right of first refusal if another team is interested in his services during that two-week stretch in Port St. Lucie.
"It's in their hands," Isringhausen said. "If another team wants me, what we've talked about is they have the right to call me up or let me go."
He also said he understands why the Mets asked him to stay back a couple of weeks with their overcrowded bullpen.
"It's one of those things where some guys with the contract status and stuff like that, things needed to be done," he said. "They're trying to, so to speak, stockpile arms. They gave me a shot, so I'm willing to help them out for a while and be somewhat of an insurance policy in case somebody does get hurt. I mean, nobody knows what's going to happen."
After deliberating whether or not to accept the Mets offer to hang back an extra two weeks, he sees the optimistic side to it.
"If I'm here throwing, it gives the Mets a chance to know that I'm pitching. Other teams know that I'm pitching," Isringhausen said. "It's better than me going home and sitting around and waiting for a phone call. I'll just get my work in and have fun with it."
So even though Boyer is safe for now, as well as Taylor Buchholz, D.J. Carrasco, and Pedro Beato among others, the Mets will have to revisit this scenario in two weeks when Isringhausen is ready to be called up.
The odd man out in this whole process is Manny Acosta, who has officially been designated for assignment and has likely pitched his last game as a Met.
Aaron Leibowitz of Rising Apple is curious about exactly why Acosta, and not Boyer was shipped out, and he raises a couple of good points.
"Yes, Boyer’s chances increased due to the opt-out in his contract, but Acosta is out of options. I have come to trust the new front office, and it’s very possible that Boyer will turn out to be the right choice. Personally, I would have chosen Acosta. However, my main gripe is that the Mets did not seemed to give Acosta the respect he deserved. He deserved to enter camp with a leg up on Boyer, and, in my mind, he didn’t get a fair shot."
He compares the 2010 stats of both Acosta and Boyer, who are both the same age, for what it's worth.
Acosta logged 39.2 IP with a 2.95 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, 2.33 K/BB, .219/.308/.328 against.
Boyer logged 57.0 IP with a 4.26 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 4.6 K/9, 1.00 K/BB, .273/.359/.375 against.
Looking at those stats, it's obvious who the better pitcher was last season, especially considering how much better Acosta pitched in his second call-up with the Mets.
Aaron also mentions that their past performances aren't just limited to last season.
"In Acosta’s four-year big league career with the Braves and Mets, he has posted a 3.40 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, 7.4 K/9, 1.65 K/BB, and a .243 BAA. Meanwhile, in Boyer’s six-year career, most of which has been spent with the Braves and Diamondbacks, he has stumbled his way to a 4.63 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.73 K/BB and a .268 BAA. Although he leads Acosta in K/BB, walks are a concern with Boyer after he struck out and walked 29 batters apiece last year. Acosta fanned 42 hitters in 17.1 fewer innings."
Clearly, the Mets are putting much more stock in current performance, but as Aaron mentions in his piece, how much better did Boyer even pitch this spring?
"Boyer has allowed one earned run in 11.0 innings, posting a 0.73 WHIP while walking three, while Acosta has allowed two earned runs in 10.2 frames and has a 1.03 WHIP. In March, the difference is insignificant."
Aaron's piece is a good read, and it definitely made me think about Acosta more than I had been this spring. He is definitely a live arm and it'll be interesting to see where he ends up. Hopefully not Philadelphia.
You can follow Aaron on Twitter @aleibs92, by the way.
The Mets are playing their final spring training camp Wednesday and then will head to Miami to kick off their 2011 season against the Marlins on Friday night.
Follow me on Twitter @metsjetsnets88