In his last 10 games Tim Byrdak has faced 11 batters. He has done an outstanding job, retiring 10 of the 11 batters and the only one to reach base drew a walk. Byrdak is a lefty specialist and manager Terry Collins is maximizing his use in that very role. Last year Collins did an outstanding job getting Byrdak to face a LHB in 65% of his PA. This year he is on a similar pace, facing a lefty 62 percent of the time.
Byrdak’s recent stretch illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of carrying a LOOGY. The great news is that he’s done his job very well. On the flip side, Byrdak is so limited in what he can do, and the rest of the bullpen is so in need of help, one could make the argument that the 2012 Mets would be better served by carrying a real pitcher instead of a lefty specialist.
Right now Byrdak is on pace to appear in 93 games. Earlier, Collins joked,
”In our case at this particular moment, Byrdak would be dead by July.”
Collins knows that he can’t keep using Byrdak nearly eve...