When people took a look at the New York Mets bullpen prior to the 2012 season, many people had a guy they thought would be "the key guy" for the unit. The obvious choice for many was closer Frank Francisco. Others supported middle relievers Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, and Ramon Ramirez. Not many pointed at the lone lefty, Tim Byrdak, as a key for the Met bullpen. After nearly a third of the season, Byrdak has been arguably the most valuable man in that bullpen.
Byrdak was signed by the Mets prior to last season to be a traditional "LOOGY", or left handed one out only guy. Byrdak did so well in the role last season that the club gave him a contract extension last September and refused to part with him at the trade deadline. Byrdak has rewarded the faith of Mets GM Sandy Alderson with a very steady performance so far in 2012.
Byrdak has appeared in 29 of the team's first 53 games, compiling only 14.1 innings as he has pitched to a 3.14 ERA so far. Byrdak has struck out 20 batters in those 14.1 innings and left handed hitters are hitting only .103 against him for the season, which is outstanding. Byrdak has picked up 12 holds for the Mets, which puts him among the National League leaders, and he has only allowed 11 men to reach base against him the whole season.
Byrdak has been durable so far this season, as there have been stretches where he has pitched three or four days in a row. He has shown that he has a rubber arm, which is helpful for Manager Terry Collins since he is the only lefty out there. Byrdak has managed to fill the niche in the bullpen that Pedro Feliciano had dibs on from 2005-2010, and he has been the most effective at his job of anyone out there. Any good team needs contributions from both its stars and role players to be successful. Byrdak has been just as good as anyone on the team at playing his role and helping the Mets win.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.