Late in October, the New York Mets concluded their search for a new manager. It originally began with the firing of Mickey Callaway and ended with the hiring of Carlos Beltrán.
The former ballplayer was a centerfielder for the Mets from 2005-11. Now, he has the tough task of leading this team into the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Numerous issues will need to be tended to in order to build off their 86-76 finish from 2019. However, the one that stands out the most is the problematic bullpen.
Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine touched on that when he provided Beltrán with some advice this past weekend.
“I’m pulling for (Beltrán),” Valentine told TMZ Sports while attending a Mariano Rivera charity event. “I hope he can get the end of the bullpen together and maybe even get (Yoenis) Cespedes to play a little, and put that group together offensively, so they can be consistent to go with that pitching. And it’s lights out.”
The Mets relievers combined for a 4.95 ERA last year. That statistic was good for 25th in the majors. It’s a struggle that most certainly led to a multitude of losses throughout the year. New York was tied for 20th in the majors with 27 blown saves.
Closer Edwin Díaz arguably contributed the most to these struggles. The All-Star reliever, who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2019 campaign, was 2-7 with an ERA of 5.59 and a WHIP of 1.379 through 66 appearances.