Mets not yet ready to rethink closer situation

Mets not yet ready to rethink closer situation

NEW YORK -- Coupled with Daisuke Matsuzaka's success at the back end of the bullpen, Kyle Farnsworth's recent struggles could force the Mets to rethink their closer strategy.

They're just not going down that road quite yet.

"[Farnsworth has] pitched good -- I mean, he's pitched very good," said manager Terry Collins, who was candid earlier this month before deciding to remove Jose Valverde from the closer's role. "I still think he's going to be fine. I don't have too many concerns about it right now."

Since taking over as closer, Farnsworth has allowed runs in two of his four appearances -- one of those on Saturday night in a non-save situation that cost the Mets the game. But he still has a 2.38 ERA for the season, with eight strikeouts and two walks in 11 1/3 innings.

After Matsuzaka earned his first career save last week, Collins insisted that Farnsworth was still the closer and that the Mets were not considering tackling the ninth inning by committee. Still, Farnsworth is 38 years old and needs frequent off-days, which could result in regular closing opportunities for Matsuzaka or others.

The Mets also remain intrigued by the ninth-inning potential of right-hander Vic Black, who is unscored upon in 8 1/3 innings at Triple-A Las Vegas. But until Black demonstrates better control -- he has walked eight -- the Mets are unlikely to promote him.

Other than Valverde, no Mets pitcher boasts more closing experience than Farnsworth, who has saved 56 games over 16 seasons. Twenty-five of those saves came with the Rays in 2011.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.