Blevins_LoganWith or without Jay Bruce, the Mets appear to have sufficient depth in the field and in the lineup going into spring training. And with last season’s emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, we have rotation depth. However, the bullpen remains a few fries short of a happy meal.

The back end, with Jeurys Familia (once we skate through his expected suspension) and Addison Reed, is solid. Hansel Robles gives us another hard-throwing right hander for middle relief and Seth Lugo gives us a long man/spot starter. Until he’s ready to bump Gsellman from the rotation, Zack Wheeler could make for an exciting option in a setup role. What’s missing is the reliable lefty; not necessarily a LOOGY, but rather a complete pitcher who happens to throw from the south side and can be called upon when Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy or Freddie Freeman is up with men on base in the late innings.

Currently we have Sean Gilmartin, who was putrid last season, Josh Edgin, who looked solid a few years ago but was rusty working his way back from Tommy John surgery last season, and Josh Smoker, who throws hard and can strike people out, but seems to give up too much solid contact. Also in the mix is the recently signed Adam Wilk, a 29-year-old who has spent most of his career in the minors, with a few forgettable short stints with the Detroit Tigers and L.A. Angels. Between those four, one could emerge as an extra lefty in the pen, and those guys could rotate out of triple A Las Vegas and the big league club as performance and injury dictate. However, none of them is a viable option to fill a needed role as a go-to lefty in high leverage spots.

Yes, the Mets could come up with a seven or eight-man bullpen to start the season, and we could wait and see if one of the flawed in-house options could fit the bill of a reliable lefty. Most likely we’d learn the hard way that we’d need to trade assets for quality lefty in July. By then we may have already blown a few winnable games by watching Edgin or Smoker give up 3-run home runs to Harper or Murphy. All in the name of saving a few bucks, this seems really silly.  Yes, we’re stuck paying $13 million for the superfluous Jay Bruce for now, but that shouldn’t prevent a contending team from spending $5 or $6 million to bring back Jerry Blevins or sign Boone Logan to properly fill this needed role.

12 comments on “Mets roster is a lefty short of complete

  • Mike Koehler

    Yes, they could a reliable lefty. They could also use another veteran arm for the seventh inning. I like Robles, but I’m not handing him the keys to the fancy sports car just yet.

    • Matt Netter

      Mike – I’m with you. He makes me nervous.

  • Charlie Hangley

    I would welcome back Mr. Blevins on a 2-year (not 3) deal.

  • BK

    I like the idea of bringing Blevins back. But beyond the lefty/righty splits, the Mets should maybe be looking for a former starter. I read an article talking up Joe Blanton as a reliever and he may work. But Sandy should try to find others who can’t go through a lineup 2-3 times anymore but may be useful in a relief role.

  • Brian Joura

    Bryce Harper is 2-6 against Jerry Blevins while Freddie Freeman is 7-12 against him. At least he’s done well against Murphy.

    At some point, we’ll stop worshiping at the altar of LOOGYs.

    In 2015 when the Mets went to the World Series, they didn’t have a LOOGY. They tried really, really hard to make Eric O’Flaherty work and it was a dismal failure. Turned out it didn’t matter in the slightest.

    • Jimmy P

      Sample size, Brian. You know better than that.

      Look at those hitters’ career splits.

      Look at Blevins’ career splits vs. LHB. He holds them under .600 OPS.

      Why use those isolated stats vs. Blevins and then leap to a misleading conclusion about LOOGYs in general?

      We do agree that it doesn’t mean any old lefty is better than any righty. But many hitters have decided weaknesses against LHP and it would be sub-optimal to not exploit it.

      • Brian Joura

        From the original article:

        “happens to throw from the south side and can be called upon when Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy or Freddie Freeman is up with men on base in the late innings.”

        If the argument is that we need a lefty specifically for these guys, then the lefty’s record against these guys is relevant, regardless of what the sample size is.

        It’s one thing if Random Lefty Reliever X does great against Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Alejandro De Aza and Socrates Brito. But if the idea is to carry a guy specifically to retire dangerous LH hitters, like the ones mentioned above, you can’t look at just his numbers against all lefties if you want to get an accurate picture of what the hurler does against elite competition that allegedly makes Random Righty Reliever quake in his boots.

  • Matt Netter

    Brian, I thought we all agreed never to mention that name again?

  • Eraff

    Blevins….588 ops vs. LHB. IDK…do I believe he’s a $7 Million dollar guy????

  • Metsense

    The Mets should try to aquire a lefty reliever to complement Robles to pitch in the 7th inning. That lefty should be Blevins. Of the 105 NL relief pitchers that pitched 30 innings, Blevins was 22nd in FIP and 14th in K/9. His WHIP ranked him at 40. It would be foolish not to sign him and he already has shown that he can handle the New York pressure.

    • Name

      At any point last year, did anyone say or think “Thank God we have Jerry Blevins?”

      The guy was a complete afterthought during the season and yet he’s all people can talk about in the offseason and making him one of the highest paid relievers in the game…

    • Brian Joura

      Hansel Robles versus LHB last year — .179/.287/299 for a .586 OPS in 137 PA. For his MLB career he has a .577 OPS in 221 PA against lefties. Against Freeman, Harper and Murphy he’s allowed a single and a double in 8 ABs.

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