New York's relief staff has nine blown saves -- tied for the most in the Majors -- and has worked to a 5.14 ERA, the worst among all National League clubs. Alderson reacted to that trend by designating veteran D.J. Carrasco for assignment and recalling Robert Carson from Triple-A Buffalo.
That could just be the beginning, but the Mets would prefer not to effect sweeping change.
"The bullpen has been a frustration. There's no question about that," said Alderson of his team's prominent weak spot. "We haven't had the consistency or the depth that we'd like to have. At some point, you have to start making changes, and [Wednesday] night was a step in that direction. It's not that we have outstanding candidates in the Minor League system at this point. We've got some good candidates, but like a number of our other prospects, perhaps they're not ready to pitch at this level."
Alderson said that he came into the season knowing that relief pitchers are unpredictable, and he said that he hoped to build an inventory of arms within the farm system. That way, he could have a hierarchy of contingency plans that could go right back to the Minor Leagues if things didn't work out.
The plan, for now, is to use Carson as a second situational southpaw, and Alderson said the Mets may also promote Jenrry Mejia at some point. Mejia is working as a starter, and Alderson said the Mets want him to make two starts for Double-A Binghamton and another two for Buffalo.
At that point, he said, the Mets would reevaluate where Mejia fits best. Alderson plans on being vigilant for relief help in the interim, but not at the expense of the men already on his roster.
"We always look outside, but so are about 25 other teams," he said. "I think I'm actually more excited -- if necessary -- to create opportunity for guys inside the organization. If you look at the rest of the team, that's essentially what's happened. We've either preserved opportunity or created opportunity for guys within the organization. If you're going to succeed or fail, it's better doing it with your own guys."
Alderson said he empathized with manager Terry Collins, who has been "a little bit hamstrung" by the bullpen. But Alderson believes some of his relievers will go back to their career norms, and he doesn't want to swing a wrecking ball through a club with a winning record.
"The temptation is always to change," said Alderson. "It's probably the most emotionally satisfying option. But it's not necessarily the best thing to do, because at some point, you run out of options. Then you have to recycle back, and in the meantime, you've impacted the psyche of a lot of different people. The goal here is not, 'Hey, we signed this guy to do this and he's going to do this.' That's not really our philosophy, but at the same time, you do have to be careful about making change."