The Mets bullpen loses another OOGY as the club trades Scott Schoeneweis to the Diamondbacks.

The Mets continued to revamp their bullpen, sending lefty specialist Scott Schoeneweis and cash to the Diamondbacks for Connor Robertson.  It was a curiously-timed move, as the Phillies just added lefty hitter Raul Ibanez but it is another way the team has chosen to revamp a bullpen that crashed the past two Septembers.

Schoeneweis was great in his role as lefty specialist but unfortunately the club was unable to prevent opposing managers pinch-hitting righty batters whenever he entered the game.  The most famous example of this was in the final game of the season when Jerry Manuel inserted Schoeneweis to face Mike Jacobs and the Marlins responded by pinch-hitting Wes Helms, who hit a home run for the game-winning hit in a 4-2 loss that knocked the Mets from the playoffs.

The easiest thing to do would be to day “good riddance” to Schoeneweis and his inability to get righty batters out.  But it’s not his fault that his managers put him in positions to fail.  Schoeneweis has his uses.  However, it’s almost impossible to limit his exposure to just lefty batters.

Last year, with the Mets employing three relievers who needed to be used judiciously, the bullpen was a mess.  Ironically, now that they have shut-down type players in Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz they are better able to carry a specialist like Schoeneweis yet they took this opportunity to move him.

In this age of specialization, it might be feasible to carry a player like Schoeneweis just for times when the opposing manager simply won’t pinch-hit.  Like when Ryan Howard comes to the plate.  But realistically, how many times would that happen in a season?  It would be more than 25 and fewer than 100, probably significantly fewer.

Regardless, it’s not an issue the Mets have to worry about anymore.  They have already sent Joe Smith (who couldn’t get out lefty batters) and now Schoeneweis, leaving just Pedro Feliciano from last year’s mix of relievers who couldn’t prosper without the platoon advantage.  And Feliciano has experienced success versus righties in the past, unlike Schoeneweis.

Robertson has had very brief cups of coffee in the majors the past two seasons but without much success.  There is some appeal to Robertson, who fanned 72 batters in 71.2 innings in Triple-A last year.  He is not overpowering but he features a slider that misses bats.  Robertson will go to Spring Training with a chance to win a spot in the bullpen.

But this was a trade mostly about addition by subtraction.  The Mets got rid of a pitcher with limited utility that two managers showed an inability to properly use last season.  In the process they save some cash and pick up an arm that may prove useful down the road.  And perhaps the best thing is that they sent Schoeneweis to his home state.  Hopefully it will be a win-win situation and further strengthen a productive trading relationship between the Mets and Diamondbacks.

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