Four in-house Bullpen Options

Bullpen? That will probably look the most different out of any part of the Mets roster. With an off-season where the Mets have 6 of their main 8 bullpen arms from 2022, becoming free agents, there is a lot of questions about the bullpen. In a recent article I mentioned one arm the Mets should accept a mutual option on, but it’s still a question if Givens will accept. Right now the Mets have two arms who are almost certain of a bullpen spot but I believe two other in-house options also have a fair shot.

Drew Smith

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Drew Smith will make the Mets bullpen when healthy and there is every reason to believe he should. Smith had a solid year, pitching to a 3.33 ERA over 46 innings. In that span, he struck out 53 and walked just 15. Main issue with Smith was the long ball, as he allowed 9 homers over those 46 innings. However, even with the long balls and fairly high hard hit percentage, Smith Expected ERA stood at 3.78. That’s mainly because he kept his opponents expected BA and Expected Weighted OBA down (.221/.303).

It’s also worth mentioning that Smith’s worse month was July (7.56ERA), right before the Mets put him on the injured list with an arm issue. He returned with solid numbers at the end of the year. So yes, Drew Smith is obviously in the pen next year.

Stephen Nogosek

Could the Mets pen next year have two 2017 trade deadline additions in their bullpen for 2023? Yes I believe they should. Stephen Nogosek was tremendous in his time in the majors but also did well in AAA. The 27 year old pitched to a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings for the Mets. But besides his small samplesize success in the majors, he also pitched to a 2.30 ERA in AAA over 43 innings. In the majors he didn’t strike out as much as in AAA but still had a repectable 8.6K/9. However, it’s worth noting that he didn’t have a consistent role in the majors (mostly getting some multi innings stints when the Mets had a big lead/deficit).

Main reason I trust Nogosek is his added velo and success with his 4 seamer. In a small samplesize, Nogosek got a -3 run value with his 4 seam fastball alone. His expected slash line against his 4 seam fastball was .193/.304/.350. He uses his 4 seamer less and learned a cutter. His cutter is still a work in progress, but it did allow more success with his 4 seamer. Let’s hope he can develop his cutter in a better weapon. I see Nogosek more as a middle relief role instead of the back end off the bullpen.

Joey Lucchesi

The somewhat forgotten man in the Mets depth chart is Joey Lucchesi. A starter that will likely find his way into the Mets bullpen in 2023. With Williams being a free agent, the Mets need an arm that can give you innings and be a spot starter. Joey Lucchesi fits that profile.

After TJS Lucchesi had a year with rehab and ended his season with some rehab outings. Lucchesi looked good in his rehab outings, pitching to a 2.13 ERA over 12.2 innings. Before his injury Lucchesi pitched go a 4.46 ERA over 38.1 innings with the Mets in 2021. He did however, had a 3.40FIP and 1.17WHIP, indicating he could be better. And don’t we all love the churve?

John Curtiss

Who? Yes John Curtiss. The Mets signed Curtiss last offseason with a 770.000 dollar deal with a team option for 775.000 dollars. The Mets made this trade to have him in 2023 as he was recovering from TJS as he signed the deal. The Mets were aware that he would miss the entire 2022 season when he signed, which was smart knowing how many free agents the Mets have.

The 29 year old right has control thru the 2025 season and owns a 3.63 career ERA. He did pitch in just 86.2 innings over his career with his most success in 2021. In that year he pitched to a 3.45 ERA over 44.1 innings with the Marlins and Brewers. Worth mentioning that Curtiss pitched to a 2.43 ERA before the trade, but got into just 4 games with the Brewers, were he struggled. That was followed with him being diagnosed with a torn UCL, which could indicate him pitching hirt

Curtiss gets his most success with his 4 seam fastball. In 2021 hitters hit just .155/.216/.238 against his 4 seamer. His slider however, got hit (.330/.388/.568) but his expected slash line against that pitch was way better (.266/.293/.385). So there is reason to expect him to have better results with his slider, with worse results with his 4 seamer.

Like Givens, Curtiss would be a solid arm to have as depth in your bullpen. And with the cost attached so low, you have to give it a try.

So who do you think will make this pen? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: MLB Trade Rumors

Mets Recap: deGrom was O. (5)K

The Mets beat the Astros 2-0 yesterday with Jacob deGrom getting his first Grapefruit League Action. deGrom went 2 innings, allowing one hit with 5 strikeouts. deGrom looked free and easy, hitting 99mph on his fastball. Jake threw mostly fastball and sliders, but ended his outing with his only change up for the K. He threw 30 pitches and is expected to throw around 45 next outing.

It was the start of a very solid pitching day for the Mets, as they shutout the Astros with 7 pitchers getting into the action. Adam Ottavino made his Mets debut with a perfect innings and one K. Trevor Williams followed with 2 scoreless frame (needed 50 pitches). Both are part of the major league roster in all likelihood.

Lefties Alex Claudio and Rob Zastryzny came into action and pitched very well. Zastryzny struck out the side for the save and Claudio struck out the lefty he faced and followed with getting two righties out. Nogosek and Jose Rodriguez also pitched a scoreless frame in the win.

The Mets got their runs in the 5th after back to back hits by Dom Smith and Nick Meyer opened the innings. Lindor drove in Dom with a ground out and McNeil lined a sac fly to score Meyer. Overall the Mets collected just 6 hits. Alonso had the only extra base hit with a ringing double.

The Mets don’t have a game today and will be back against the Marlins on Thursday 6.10pm. Reportedly Carlos Carrasco and Chris Bassitt will make their spring debut.

Photo Credit: Anthony DiComo

MetsJunkies Recap: Mets Fall Short; Continue to Struggle

The New York Mets haven’t been exactly up to snuff while coming out of the All-Star break. While the Mets have been healthy with a couple of exceptions, they’ve still been struggling a bit in this early stages of the second half.

The Cincinnati Reds hosted Tuesday’s contest at The Great American Ballpark and the Mets were able to get on the boards quickly via a Pete Alonso solo shot. His second home run since the All-Star break, as well as in the last two games.

The home run would go down as the sluggers 19th of the year. Alonso finished the contest going 2-5 and has now pushed his average up to .259 with an .830 OPS.

The Reds struck right back to tie it up when lead-off batter Jonathan India hit a home run off of Mets starter Robert Stock. While I’m not too familiar with the infielder, the rookie is hitting .276/.406/.525/.831 over the span of 275 at-bats… quite impressive.

Robert Stock only threw one inning after being removed after dealing with a hamstring injury. David Jauss had this to say about Stock and his injury.

“I definitely don’t know how serious. My wife’s a nurse…my medical background is I stay away from doctors”David Jauss via SNY

Stephen Nogosek had gotten five straight outs and was looking extremely sharp until Joey Votto and Aristides Aquino hit back to back home runs in the bottom of the third. The pair of home runs from the Reds gave them a 3-1 to lead.

Jonathan Villar scored on a play you don’t normally see, especially from a player like Joey Votto. While Pete Alonso grounded one to pitcher Brad Brach, Votto dropped the throw allowing Villar to put the second run up for the Mets.

Geoff Hartlieb made his Mets debut as the right-hander displayed a pretty good slider but would give up a run in 1.1 innings pitched.

Luis Guillorme hit an RBI double in the eighth, however it wasn’t enough for the Mets to comeback. The Reds would take the second game of the series with a 4-3 victory.

Mets catcher James McCann went 2-4, bringing his average up to .251 on the season. In his last 15 games, McCann is slashing .302/.400/.372 but only has four RBI’s during that period.

Both teams will face off again on Wednesday at 12:35 PM with Marcus Stroman facing off against right-hander Jeff Hoffman in the rubber match.

Mets call up two relievers

The Mets will call up relievers Tyler Bashlor and Stephen Nogosek. In return, the Mets will sent down infielder Luis Guillorme as well as pitcher Chris Mazza.

Bashlor has an 0-3 record with a 5.40 ERA in 13 games and 11.2 innings pitched.

Stephen Nogosek has pitched in five games and has an ERA of 7.71 in just 4.2 innings pitched.

Mazza has appeared in four games and owns a 5.19 ERA in 8.2 innings while striking out six.

Guillorme only had 22 at-bats this season and is batting .182 over that small sample.

Mets call up Stephen Nogosek… here’s who he is

The Mets will also option Drew Gagnon back out to AAA Syracuse. Here’s more on Nogosek…

“Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 6th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft from the University of Oregon. After spending a small while in the Red Sox organization, the Mets received him as part of a package in a trade for relief pitcher Addison Reed in 2017.

This season in 18 games split between the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Syracuse Mets, he’s pitched 30.2 innings and struck out 33 while maintaining a 0.59 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

The California native is going to be Rule 5 eligible in the off-season so the Mets will have an important decision to make, although if you ask me, it’s a no-brainer and you add the righty to the 40-Man roster to avoid losing the kid.

In 122 minor league games, Nogosek has tossed 179.1 innings and struck out 200 in that time period.

He has a fastball that ranges from 93MPH-96MPH with a firm and heavy ball that comes downhill. However, he’s still having minor issues locating his fastball across the plate to the glove side.

He throws a slider that sits at approximately 85MPH with hard action and is often used as his put away pitch.

He does throw a change-up but it’s a pitch he barely uses, a pitch more so for show or to change the batters pace and rhythm.

Overall, Nogosek pitches to the strike zone with a majority of a fastball/slider mix with the occasional change-up.

I believe fans will be seeing Stephen Nogosek in the Mets bullpen in a few short months and we all know, we could damn sure use the relief.”