Most people scoffed at the free agent acquisitions made by the New York Mets this offseason. The team brought in Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco from Toronto in an effort to bolster a bullpen that was inconsistent and unreliable throughout the 2011 season. So while the Marlins loaded up on big name free agents like Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle and the Phillies brought in a new closer in Jonathan Papelbon, the Mets front office worked within their resources to fill the holes they could, starting with the bullpen.
After a 4-0 start to the year Frank Francisco leads the majors with 3 saves and Jon Rauch has 1 win to go along with his National League leading 2 holds (tied with 3 other players, one of which is Tim Byrdak). The sample size is small, but probably not small enough for people to see that the difference in the pen is very real. I wasn’t sure what to think about Rauch heading into this season. The 6’11″ righty is by all accounts an absolute giant on the mound but after signing a 1-year/$3.5 million deal this offseason turned in a rough Spring with a 7.94 ERA.
Needless to say, the 33-year-old righty has turned it up at the perfect time, having yet to allow a hit in 4 innings this season.
It’s also great to see how pumped Rauch is about this team, which you can tell he flat out enjoys being a part of based on his interaction with fans on Twitter. Be sure to check him out (@jrauch60) and enjoy the ride!
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