By Mike Steffanos
I'm never totally shocked by anything that happens with the Mets, but I have to admit that I'm somewhat surprised by this story on Mets.com. According to Marty Noble, the Mets are thinking of moving Aaron Heilman back to the bullpen:
That possibility came to light Sunday as people familiar with Minaya's thinking discussed the situation. Wagner, Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Jorge Julio, Chad Bradford and a left-hander are likely to make up the bullpen.
With all due respect to Omar Minaya, I believe this would be a mistake. At a time when there actually seems to be some signs of life from all the candidates for bullpen jobs, why pull a promising guy out of the spot where you are thinnest?
Brian Bannister has been doing a great job. There would be no harm in sending him to Norfolk for a while, however. He's only had a few games at the Triple-A level, it wouldn't hurt for him to gain some experience there and serve as a viable insurance policy of the type that the so-called "experts" didn't believe the Mets had this year. A starter is going to go down at some point and you're going to need him, bank on it.
Meanwhile, give the bullpen a chance to shake out, for God's sake. I know the Mets aren't expecting their starters to go deep into games very often, but you might actually have some trouble getting all those guys enough innings to stay sharp. I don't want to get too carried away with spring performances, but the bullpen has looked alright lately. Let's move a little slower here. You obviously had some belief in Heilman as a starter, let's give him a fair shot. We can always move him back to the 'pen if need be.
Noble also mentions that clubs have been enquiring about the availability of Heath Bell. He's looked pretty good at times for us last year. How about giving him one last real shot before we give him away for some marginal prospect?
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