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Ricky Bottalico available


Marlins2003
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"...Dan Wheeler, Ricky Bottalico and Moreno have pitched well enough to make the team as relievers, but they will need Grant Roberts to get in the starting rotation and Jos? Reyes to go on the disabled list for enough spots to be available for everyone. Since Wheeler established himself in the major leagues last season and Bottalico could request his release if he is not on the Mets' major league roster on Sunday, the easiest option may be to send Moreno to Class AAA Norfolk."

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"... Cliff Floyd looks at Ricky Bottalico and it's 1996. If he looks hard enough, he sees 1997 as well.

Floyd was just making a name for himself back then with the Expos and the Marlins but it's not difficult for him to remember the type of pitcher Bottalico was in the mid-to-late '90s.

"He was tough," Floyd said. "He had good stuff. You would go up there and just hope he was wild because he was so effective. If he hadn't gotten hurt, I think you would have seen a pretty productive closer for a long time.

"But as we all know, injuries take a toll. He still has a heart, though. He's going to be fine. He works hard so all you can do is hope that everything works out for him."

The Mets share Floyd's sentiments. So much so, they invited Bottalico to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee, hopeful that his right arm and shoulder still has some of the magic in it that made him such a feared reliever for the Phillies nearly a decade ago.

So far, he has rewarded them for their confidence. Bottalico has retired 20 of the 23 batters he's faced this spring, allowing only a walk, a double and a homer. He has a 1.35 ERA through five appearances and has looked strong in each of those outings.

"I haven't seen him in the past," Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said. "So I don't have a barometer by which to measure him. I'm just looking at him right now and I like what I've seen."

Bottalico saved 68 games over those two seasons for the Phillies, earning a berth on the 1996 All-Star team while carving out a niche as one of baseball's best closers. But he started to break down in 1998, having to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits on his elbow lining.

Though he recovered and went on to save 36 more games for the Cardinals and Royals in 1999-2000, his ERA was more than a run higher than it had been during his hey day in Philadelphia. His strikeout totals went down and his walks were up.

Bottalico eventually rejoined the Phillies and pitched in 96 games through the end of June 2002, but it was then that his on again, off again shoulder finally gave out. He had been pitching with a partially torn labrum for several years and that June it finally tore completely, putting him on an operating table and out of baseball for almost a year.

Bottalico returned last summer after Arizona purchased his contract from the Phillies. He appeared in 31 games for Triple-A Tucson but his 3.66 ERA over 39 1/3 innings wasn't enough for Arizona to keep him. So Bottalico shopped himself around, eventually signing a minor league contract with the Mets last month.

Now, he's working his way back. At 34 he doesn't have any thoughts of closing again. Not yet anyway. He's just working towards a return to the Major Leagues and staying there.

"I'm throwing off the mound again and I'm fine," Bottalico said. "I didn't miss a beat when I got here. I can't think about closing. I have to build back up to that. There are things that I have to prove again. I have to prove that I can throw again and then pitch again.

"I have to work on different things now. I want to pitch on the Major League level and I have to prove myself all over again. I had three real good seasons with pain and I tried to pitch through it. But now I feel good."

For the most part, Bottalico has looked good. He has shown that he can still pitch despite no longer bringing it at 95 miles an hour. That can only help as he tries to find a spot in the Mets bullpen that is already very deep. Despite the number of right-handed setup men in the New York pen, Bottalico has the experience and the temperament to be a valuable asset.

Whether he'll get the chance to pitch for the Mets, though, will depend on more than just the spring he's having. If Grant Roberts makes the starting rotation, there will be a spot open in the pen. If Scott Erickson beats out Roberts for the fifth starter's spot then Roberts will be back in the pen with Bottalico likely starting the season at Triple-A Norfolk.

Bottalico has said he would accept such an assignment if the circumstances were right and thus far the circumstances have been favorable. The Mets are interested in keeping Bottalico around and he seems inclined to stay. "

 

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"...Right-handed reliever Ricky Bottalico, who had a 2.51 ERA in 10 spring appearances, was not traded by midnight Saturday and became a free agent. "

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Personally I'd send Wayne to AAA and bring Ricky to the Majors. After seeing Wayne against the Mets I wouldnt give him a spot on the 25 man roster. And dont gimme none of that "its only spring training thing", his fastball was crap, 85-88 and nothing on it, leaving it up, and i wont even talk about his other "pitches", I'd send him down in a heartbeat for Bottalico

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Personally I'd send Wayne to AAA and bring Ricky to the Majors. After seeing Wayne against the Mets I wouldnt give him a spot on the 25 man roster. And dont gimme none of that "its only spring training thing", his fastball was crap, 85-88 and nothing on it, leaving it up, and i wont even talk about his other "pitches", I'd send him down in a heartbeat for Bottalico

Wayne can't hardly hit 90, thats just how he pitches. I saw him pitch in his second start in the Marlins organization a couple of years ago and wasn't impressed but I'm not sure Bottalico is the answer.

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Guest FishFanInPA

I dont know how many ways I can say this but NO....N.....O....

 

The pen is bad enough without him...he's old....inconsistent and unnecessary....I'd rather have young guys blow games then this schmuck. If he couldnt make the Mets pen then why would we want him.

 

:dont :thumbdown

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I dont know how many ways I can say this but NO....N.....O....

 

The pen is bad enough without him...he's old....inconsistent and unnecessary....I'd rather have young guys blow games then this schmuck. If he couldnt make the Mets pen then why would we want him.

 

:dont :thumbdown

 

FishFan, don't hold back...tell us how you really feel lol

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Guest FishFanInPA

I dont know how many ways I can say this but NO....N.....O....

 

The pen is bad enough without him...he's old....inconsistent and unnecessary....I'd rather have young guys blow games then this schmuck. If he couldnt make the Mets pen then why would we want him.

 

:dont :thumbdown

 

FishFan, don't hold back...tell us how you really feel lol Being in Philadelphia during the "hey-day" of his career, I see nothing but trouble. He was called Mr. Blown Save here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bottalico is not worth the effort.

 

 

He could be good I suppose...and I have yet to see the reason for you people's hatred of Wayne this year...

 

I mean you love Nunez cause he had a great spring...

 

 

so did Wayne.

 

 

both have sucked horrendously before with the big club.

 

 

You people play favorites.

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