6/10/2005 09:04:00 PM
�TWO OUT OF THREE IS BAD�
After sixty games I�d say I�m pretty happy with the job Willie Randolph has done but (and there�s always a but) his handling of the bullpen has me stupefied. I like that he has confidence in Heath Bell but for a guy who could not make the club out of spring training he sure gets the plumb assignment now. But it�s not about what could be overuse of Bell its more the underutilization of Aaron Heilman.
Mets fans have been waiting for Heilman to bloom and now that he has shown the most promises he ever has, he can�t get a sniff of action. I love this quote form Randolph when he was asked after last night�s game on why he didn�t use Heilman over Bell:
[Bell was up in the bullpen earlier and he was loose," Randolph said. "He's throwing the ball well. He throws strikes with good stuff. I thought he threw the ball pretty well."
When asked why he chose to use Bell, who pitched an inning Wednesday night, instead of Aaron Heilman, who has thrown 9 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings and hadn't pitched since Sunday, Randolph said: "Bell's my guy right there. If the game went longer, I would have used Aaron."]
Well, since you used Hernandez, Looper (for two innings) and Bell who the hell else were you bringing in? The soon to be released Manny Aybar? The should be released Mike DeJean? The �In Case of Lefty Hitter Break Glass Royce Ring? You couldn�t even get to the allegedly signed Danny Graves? So of course Heilman would be the man. Then again I wonder if Mel Rojas was still around Randolph might use him over Heilman.
Bell it seems does better when he comes into a situation when there are runners on base. He has inherited nine base runners and none have scored. Last night he just didn�t have much luck as the Astros hitters did exactly light him up. But at some point Willie has to have a plan for this bullpen and use the relievers with some sense of order. So far the pen is a mish maosh of talent with Looper as the only guy who knows his role. Ask yourself who is the 8th inning set up man? I thought is was Roberto Hernandez but some nights its Bell and now it seems that one of these days Danny Graves will inherit that spot.
But then what of young Heilman? As a side note, how good do you think Bobby Ojeda feels right now as result of Heilman going back to the way he pitched as a collegian? Remember it was Ojeda you told Heilman as spring instructor not to change the way he pitched as that would how he�d make his mark. When Professor Rick took Heilman in another direction it caused Ojeda to reevaluate his standing in the organization and move on to greener pastures (I think) but in the end Bobby O know what he was doing. I guess Professor Rick realized it as well as he had Heilman do just as Ojeda had said and brought him back to what made him a number draft choice.
I knew there was a reason I like Peter Gammons so much. Not just because all the times I�ve run into him at Cape Cod League games and he�d been so gracious towards my son and me but I heard he was on with Francessa and Russo yesterday and said the Mets should go after Sean Casey as he is available. Now Omar what more do you need to make this move? First me and now the Great Gammons.
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