Last night the Mets made a bullpen move, acquiring Phil Maton from the Rays for future considerations. It’s a nice pickup, with Maton having the ability to contribute right away, which hopefully begins tonight but may not be until Thursday, depending on when he gets here. Some will look at his season-long 4.58 ERA and 1.330 WHIP and wonder why the Mets pulled the trigger. But Maton had a 118 ERA+ over 132.1 IP the past two seasons combined.

And over his last 32 games, Maton has a 3.07 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP, which is solid production. For the year, Maton has allowed 18 ER in 40 games and 14 of those have come in four appearances. In a way, this is the opposite of the 2022 acquisition of Mychal Givens. When the Mets picked up Givens, he had a nifty 2.66 ERA. But Givens had yet to have that 6-12 game bad stretch that nearly all relievers go thru. Unfortunately, the bad times struck as soon as he put on a Mets jersey. In his first 11 games for his new club, Givens had a 10.61 ERA. In his final eight games with the Mets, Givens did not allow a run.

Maton has already gotten his bad stretch out of the way. In 12 April games, he had an 8.68 ERA. He also had a second bad stretch, one where he recorded a 7.71 ERA over nine games. Maybe that’s an indication he’s not to be trusted. Or maybe it means it should be mostly smooth sailing for the remainder of the year.

The big problem this year for Maton has been the gopher ball. He’s allowed 6 HR in 35.1 IP for a 1.53 HR/9. But at least some of that might be attributed to his home park. After playing the last two-plus years for the Astros, Maton joined the Rays prior to this season. And four of his six homers allowed came at Tropicana Field. Overall, Rays pitchers have given up 67 HR at home, compared to 55 on the road.

For right now, Maton can replace Eric Orze on the roster. Once Kodai Senga and Sean Reid-Foley return, he gives the Mets further options. They can option Reed Garrett, to give him a brief rest and a chance to reset. Or they can DFA Adam Ottavino. Those two pitchers will have some time to justify their continued presence on the roster. My assumption is that Jake Diekman will be one of the players to be removed from the roster. But he’ll probably be the second of the two to go. Senga probably returns the last week in July. It’s possible Reid-Foley comes back before that but it certainly won’t be until after the All-Star break.

16 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (7/10/24)

  • James M OMalley

    I’m all good with releasing Diekman. Do you think the Mets would DFA Ottavino?

    • Brian Joura

      When Senga comes back, they’re going to use a 6-man rotation, which means a 7-man bullpen.

      Diaz, Nunez, Butto, Maton, and Houser seem like locks. Which means Reid-Foley, Diekman, Ottavino and Garrett are fighting for two spots. And if they’re bound and determined to carry a lefty, that means the remaining three are fighting for one spot. I know what I’d do but I don’t have any idea what Stearns will do. An Ottavino DFA should absolutely be on the table.

  • Metstabolism

    Relievers are so inconsistent. By the time Senga comes, any one of these guys could be better or worse than he is now. Not to mention that a trade or two might be swung that changes the roster landscape.

  • TexasGusCC

    Yesterday, Ron Darling offered a fix for Ottovino’s flatness on the slider: getting on top of the ball rather than the side, even when dropping down. I really would prefer to wait for Ottavino to snap out of it than not wait.

  • TexasGusCC

    What about Matt Gage?

  • Metstabolism

    One added plus with this move is that the Mets have a club option on Maton for next year ($7.75 Mil with a $250k buyout). So if things work out, they can keep him if they choose and have one piece of next year’s bullpen resolved. I think any deals Stearns makes at this deadline should have one eye on next year’s roster, as well.

  • Metstabolism

    A wild card for this bullpen who still has a lot to prove, Fujinami has not walked a single batter yet in his 4 IP. In his two appearances in AA, he struck out 5 over 2 innings.

  • Metsense

    Ottavino in June pitched 11.1 innings, 4 ER, 3.24 ERA, 4 BB with 9 of 11 appearances where he didn’t give up an earned run. One of the appearances he gave 2 ER was a back to back appearance which he doesn’t handle well. The another night, 7/9, had a 5 days rest for no reason. He is managed wrong.

  • ChrisF

    Garrett and Diekman need to go ASAP. My money is on Ottavino over them.

    • Metstabolism

      Yeah. When Diaz was out, the question in my mind whether these relievers were struggling because they’re being used in different roles for which they’re not suited, or are they [fully] burned out . Diekman seems shot. Garrett now looks that way, too. Hopeful that, as Brian suggested, a break in the minors can get him back on track.

  • TexasGusCC

    So Garrett Reed to IL, Phil Maton to Mets, Danny Young to Mets (oh boy!) and Eric Orze to Syracuse.

  • TexasGusCC

    Ok, I’m having an issue. Never had this before, but…
    On my phone I see the latest posts, such as this one.

    On my iPad, it only shows through July 3rd and nothing newer. Hmmmm….. I thought it may have been because the iPad is old and many apps don’t even work on it (such as MLB, my bank, others), but on my laptop, the latest post I see is the June 11th Game Chatter when the Mets we’re playing Miami and it was Lazardo vs. Megill on the mound.

    On the desktop computer in my office, I see the latest post – this one. What do I do about this?

    • ChrisF

      HI Gus, That happens to me a lot on my iPad too. It’s maddening. Sometimes I get the url from my phone and then type that in to get to the newest page. Then I hit the refresh and it will go back to the old page. But sometimes it takes me a while before it just behaves normally.

      One thing I try to do is not leave the site on an article, but go back to the main page.


      • TexasGusCC

        Thanks Chris for writing! I try to click on the METS360 in the upper left of the site page, but no luck on those devices.

    • Brian Joura

      One thing you can try is to click on the calendar. It’s on the right sidebar on laptop but it might be lower in mobile.

  • T.J.

    I had hoped the Mets could get to the break without causing a reliever’s arm to fall off but unfortunately this may not be the case.

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