Originally posted on Mets Fever  |  Last updated 6/12/12
Photo by Michael Baron Jon Rauch who gave up the game winning home run to Russell Martin in the bottom of the 9th which allowed the Yankees to sweep the Mets, isn't using his elbow as an excuse.

Maybe it's just their stature; Rauch listed as 6-11', 290 lbs and Putz 6-5', 250lbs but Rauch is reminding me of J.J. Putz.

Both big men were former closers when they came to the Mets and both took roles as set-up men.

Rauch like Putz is struggling to start his Mets career and while there's been concerns over Rauch's elbow just like Putz he has denied the elbow has caused his in-effectiveness.

In 2008 J.J. recorded 15 saves with a 3.88 ERA in  47 games, his season while effective had been shortened by injuries.  The prior year he recorded 40 saves in 65 appearances and his 1.38 ERA earned him an All- Star appearance.  Last year Rauch recorded 11 saves with a 4.85 ERA and similar to Putz struggled with injuries while the year before he earned 21 saves, the most of his career with a 3.12 ERA.

Putz would appear in 29 games with the Mets in which he posted a 5.22 ERA, a record of 1-3 while SO 19 and walking 19 in 29 innings. Putz denied his injury was effecting his pitching right up to the time it was announced he would miss the rest of the season to have surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow.   Rauch recently was shut down for the Nats series to allow inflammation in his pitching elbow which was due to debris, to calm down.  Rauch has appeared in 28 games with an ERA of 4.88, and a record of 3-6, he has taken a loss in 3 of his last 4 appearances.

If the Mets are going to have any chance of continuing to surprise, they are going to need a quality set-up man.  Hopefully, Rauch can get back on track and put any concerns to rest but right now his Met career appears on a crash course with that of J.J. Putz...

Rauch had stayed in New York during the previous series in Washington to allow elbow irritation to heal. He insisted that is now a non-issue. He also disputed the team announcement that he has debris in the elbow. Rauch said the issue arose from two bones somehow awkwardly rubbing against each other. He took anti-inflammatory medication and the issue is now behind him, he insisted. source ESPN NY



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