Omar Minaya’s main focus this off-season was the bullpen.  After one-sixth of the season it has been a fantastic group, with the exception of one player.  Here I look to see if one rotten apple spoils the bunch.

Has the Mets bullpen been good or bad this year? On first blush, with the fine start by Francisco Rodriguez and the strong performances from J.J. Putz, Bobby Parnell and Brian Stokes, it appears to be a strong bullpen. But has Sean Green singlehandedly dragged down the team’s performance?

First let’s look at the splits between the starters and the relievers for the Mets so far in 2009.

SP – 13-7 (.650) with a 4.84 ERA

RP – 1-6 (.143) with a 2.87 ERA

Now the National League averages so far this year:

SP – 151-148 (.505) with a 4.39 ERA

RP – 73-76 (.490) with a 4.27 ERA

The Mets strong record from their starters has undoubtedly been helped by the relievers. But the bullpen is blowing its share of games, too. Here are the records for each member of this year’s pen.

Player Record ERA
Francisco Rodriguez 0-0 1.32
J.J. Putz 0-2 3.38
Bobby Parnell 0-0 1.38
Sean Green 0-2 8.76
Pedro Feliciano 0-1 3.75
Brian Stokes 0-1 0.00
Casey Fossum 0-0 2.25
Darren O’Day 0-0 0.00
Ken Takahashi 0-0 0.00

Jerry Manuel has been doing a good job with the pen, with the exception of putting Green into high leverage situations. But even that has changed recently. In the Mets’ first 20 games, Green was used 11 times. Since then he has made it into only one game, and that one was in extra innings when Manuel was low on options (although Stokes was available).

Since the beginning of May, here is the team’s bullpen usage:

Rodriguez – 5 games

Putz & Feliciano – 4 games

Parnell – 3 games

Takahashi and Green – 1 game

The bullpen took it on the chin in April as far as won-loss record but even then it posted a 2.89 ERA. After last year, when the relievers went 28-28 with a 4.27 ERA along with 29 blown saves and a 60 percent save percentage, this year’s bullpen looks downright sterling.  The 2009 pen has just three blown saves and a 75 percent save percentage.

Now the only thing left is to get Stokes into more games than Green.