Jeurys Familia Is Becoming the Mets Best Closer Ever

For an organization known for its pitching, it should come as no surprise that the Mets have had their fair share of good closers.  What may come as a surprise is that Jeurys Familia might just become better than them all.

The Mets first notable closer was Tug McGraw.  His contributions extend well past his coining the phrase “Ya Gotta Believe!”  Up until the 80’s, in a time when managers began to pitch to the save rule, McGraw was the Mets all-time leader with 86 saves.  He is also the only Mets to be a closer to for a team that won a World Series and a Pennant.  In 1969, he shared closing duties with Ron Taylor.  In 1973, he was not only the man, but in many ways, the vocal leader of the team.  The only record McGraw has remaining in the record books is most innings pitched by a Mets reliever  with 792.2 innings over his nine year Mets career.

The next Mets closer to appear in multiple postseasons was Jesse Orosco.  When discussing Orosco, there are always three things you need to mention: (1) he was part of the return the Mets received when they traded Jerry Koosman to the Twins; (2) Keith Hernandez warned him not to throw a fastball to Kevin Bass (he didn’t); and (3) his glove has still not landed.  After his eight year career was over, Orosco was both the Mets all-time leader in saves (107) and the Mets single season saves leader (31 in 1984).  To this day, he remains the only Mets closer to save a World series clinching game.

Orosco would eventually be surpassed by John Franco on both the saves list and the Mets all-time saves list.  Somewhat ironically, Franco’s entrance song was Johnny B. Goode as his ninth inning appearances were always a high wire act.  Still, throughout all of it, Franco has more saves by any left-handed closer in history with 424, and when he retired he was third on the all-time list trailing only Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman.  Franco recorded 276 of those saves with the Mets.  His 276 saves are the Mets record by a fairly wide margin.

In fact, Franco leads Armando Benitez by 116 saves on the Mets all-time list.  Coincidentally, Benitez is the man who replaced Franco as the Mets closer in 1999.  With the Mets having made consecutive postseason appearances in 1999 and 2000, Benitez remains the only Mets closer to pitch in consecutive postseasons.  While Mets fans loved to hate him, Benitez did show flashes of complete and utter dominance.  As of right now, his 43 saves in 2001 still remains the Mets single season record.

However, that record is in jeopardy.  Last year, Jeurys Familia, in his first season as the Mets closer, tied Benitez’s single season record.  This year, he has tied it again en route to him most likely breaking the tie with Benitez.  With Familia having saved 43 games for consecutive seasons, he has already set the mark for most saves by a Mets closer in consecutive seasons.  Even with Familia only having been the Mets closer for one plus seasons, he now ranks fifth all-time with 92 saves as a Met.  With 16 more saves, he will jump both Orosco and Billy Wagner to put him third all-time.

If the Mets current charge continues, he could join Benitez as the only Mets closer to appear in back-to-back postseasons.  If the Mets get into the postseason, anything is possible including seeing Familia join Orosco as the only Mets pitcher to earn a save to close out the World Series.

That’s just the thing with Familia.  He’s already a great closer, and he’s already writing his name all over the Mets record books.  As long as he is the Mets closer, anything is possible.  It’s also possible that we could be watching the best closer in Mets history.

Neil Walker Needs to Priorotize His Health. 

As we have seen with David Wright some injuries are more than just baseball injuries. Some injuries have long lasting effects, and they affect your quality of life away from the game. You want these players to recover not just because you want to see them back on the field, you want to see them recover because you don’t want to see someone suffer. 

That may be where we are now with Neil Walker

Walker has apparently been dealing with a back issue since his day with the Pirates.  It flared up in June, and it has flared up again. Only this time, his back problem has apparently gotten worse – much worse.

Despite the Mets being in the thick of the Wild Card race, Walker has been unable to play since Saturday. Coming into last night’s game, the  Mets have announced Walker can no longer play every day. Worse yet, he has tingling in his back which is affecting his legs. There are even more dire reports suggesting Walker is experiencing tingling on one side of his body. It’s at the point now where the Mets wonder aloud about whether Walker’s season is over. Terry Collins put it succinctly when he said, “There’s a lot of concern.”  (mlb.com)

Right now, the plan is for Walker to get a second opinion to see if he really can play. Because they’re the Mets, and they have all their injured player’s play, the team still intends to have Walker play through the pain. Given the Mets recent history with back injuries, Wright and Lucas Duda, it’s hard to feel optimistic about Walker’s chances of not just being able to play, but also being able to contribute this season. 

No matter what happens, Walker has to do what is right for him and his family. While the Mets need his bat in the lineup for the stretch run, no one wants to see him befall what has befallen Wright over the past couple of years. 

Reyes & Cabrera Spark the Offense Again

Much like last night, the Marlins would not have a lead against the Mets for very long. 

In the top of the first, Christian Yelich hit a two run homer off Seth Lugo giving the Marlins an early 2-0 lead. After that, Lugo would shut the Marlins down including robbing Ichiro Suzuki of a base hit to get out of the first. Lugo grabbed the ball dribbling down the line and threw a dart over Ichiro’s head. 

His final line was six innings, five hits, two runs, two earned, one walk, and four strikeouts. 

Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera would set out to make sure Lugo got the win. With Cabrera playing after missing a game with a knee issue, the two once again served as sparks at the top of the lineup. They started immediately. 
After Reyes leadoff the bottom of the first with an infield single, Cabrera brought him home on a game tying two run homer. 

On the night, Reyes would go 4-5 with two runs and a double. Cabrera was 2-3 with a run, two RBI, a walk, and a homer. With them going like this, you can believe the Mets have what it takes to get back to the postseason.

The first inning rally would continue on a Jay Bruce double. Yes, that actually happened. He would then score on a Wilmer Flores RBI single. It was part of a big night for Flores who was 2-4 with a double and an RBI. 

Just like that, a Marlins lead became a 3-2 deficit. The Mets wouldn’t look back. 

After the first, the Mets kept threatening against Tom Koehler, but they couldn’t quite plate another run. Shocking, I know. The Mets not getting hits with runners in scoring position. 

Things changed in the sixth with Curtis Granderson hitting a pinch hit leadoff home run. It sparked a rally with the Mets loading the bases. Alejandro De Aza singled scoring Reyes making it 5-2, but that’s all the Mets would get that inning. 

On the De Aza single, Cabrera took a wide turn around third, but he did not appear as if he was really trying to score. Rather, it looked as if he was positioning himself in case there was a bobble or something. In any event, he tried to get back to third but he couldn’t because Bruce was standing there. 

Granderson would stay in the game and go to right. He would come back up in the seventh, and he would hit another home run. This was a two run shot scoring Rene Rivera making it a 7-2 game. 

With the Mets now having a big lead, Terry Collins decided to let Hansel Robles stay out there for a second inning because Collins is the only one who hasn’t figured out that Robles is overworked.Fortunately, Robles was able to pitch two scoreless helping to preserve the Mets win. 

The Mets had to turn to Jeurys Familia for the save as Jim Henderson just couldn’t lock down the 7-2 win. Henderson allowed a starting a J.T. Realmuto solo home run, a Jeff Francouer triple, and a Dee Gordon RBI single. Just like that it was a 7-4 game. Familia came in and put an end to the nonsense striking out Marcell Ozuna to record his 43rd save of the year tying the club record he shares with Armando Benitez

With the Mets second straight win against the Marlins, they are now a game ahead of them in the standings.  Things are starting to get interesting. 
Game Notes: Neil Walker missed the game with his lingering back injury. It’s now serious enough that Collins no longer believes Walker can play everyday. James Loney stayed consistent by going 0-3. Before the game, it was announced Steven Matz will not be ready to pitch when his disabled list stint is over because he is still having shoulder issues. 

Pennant Race: The Pirates are losing to the Cubs 3-0 in the seventh. The Cardinals are tied with the Brewers 1-1 in the eighth. The Nationals beat the Phillies 3-2. 

The Mets Need Gavin Cecchini

The Mets are in a bad situation right now with their infield depth during a pivotal series against the Miami Marlins.  Asdrubal Cabrera has re aggravated the same knee injury that previously landed him on the disabled list after a collision with Phillies first baseman Tommy JosephNeil Walker has been in and out of the lineup with a back issue.  With the Mets having sent down T.J. Rivera to make room for Rafael Montero to make last night’s start, it means the Mets have no infield depth.  They are literally one injury away from figuring out if Rene Rivera or Travis d’Arnaud is capable of playing third base.

With that, the Mets are desperate for someone middle infield help until the rosters can expand on Thursday, and on the 40 man roster, the Mets have enigmatic options.

First is everyone’s least favorite Met Eric Campbell.  Campbell is once again dominating AAA hitting .297/.396/.428 with 13 doubles, four triples, five homers, and 40 RBI.  Yes, four triples.  This follows a stint where he didn’t hit in the majors going .159/.270/.222.  The only thing Campbell has going for him is his ability to play multiple positions and his ability to pinch hit.

The next option is Ty Kelly.  Like Campbell, Kelly is versatile and has been dominating in AAA.  Unlike Campbell, he is a switch hitter who has had some recent success in the majors.  Keep in mind before he had back-to-back two hit games before being demoted again, he was hitting .186/.280/.256.  It’s something to keep in mind as he hasn’t been raking in AAA like he was when he was first called up.  Since being sent back down to AAA, Kelly is hitting .259/.323/.296.

Finally, there is Matt Reynolds.  Between him, Campbell, and Kelly, he is the only one that can play SS.  However, he is in the same boat as Campbell and Kelly in that you cannot trust him to hit at the major league level.  In his 37 games with the Mets, he hit .211/.231/.382.  After the AAA All Star Break, Reynolds has been hitting .250/.321/.292 with only four doubles in 96 at bats.

With these three not hitting or having established they are not capable of hitting at the major league level, the Mets need to turn in another direction for help.  With that in mind, the Mets best option is their 2012 first round draft pick Gavin Cecchini.

While playing shortstop this season, Cecchini has been hitting .329/.391/.454 with 27 doubles, two triples, seven homers, and 53 RBI.  Over the past month, Cecchini is hitting .368/.390/.500 with nine doubles, two homers, and 12 RBI.  While many have knocked his defense as he has a woeful .928 fielding percentage, it is notable that Cecchini has gone his last 12 games without an error.  Overall, Cecchini is playing the best out of these four players making him the Mets best infield option.

There is just one problem.  Cecchini isn’t on the 40 man roster.  The Mets would have to make a move to put him on; a move the Mets are going to have to make in the offseason anyway to protect Cecchini from the Rule 5 Draft.  Looking at the above options, there is no reason to keep Campbell or Kelly on the 40 man roster.  If the Mets are really interested in putting the best team on the field, and giving themselves the best chance to win, they will go with Cecchini.

But no.  Instead, the Mets are going to go with Logan Verrett because the Mets need another pitcher to address their infield situation.  Hopefully, d’Arnaud can play third base.

Mets Roster Management Is Horrendous

There’s having a short bench due to injuries, and then there is what the Mets did last night.

With the Mets needing to skips Jacob deGrom start, the Mets needed to call up a starter to take his place in the rotation. The corollary to that is the Mets needed to send someone down to make room for Rafael Montero on the roster.

The obvious choice was Robert Gsellman. Gsellman had just started on Sunday meaning he was not slated to pitch until Friday. However, he wasn’t going to start on Friday. That start is going to go to Steven Matz, who by all accounts, will be ready to come off the disabled list. With Matz reclaiming his rotation spot, Gsellman was not needed.

Instead, the Mets sent down T.J. Rivera.  They sent down T.J. Rivera even though Neil Walker has had to miss a few games with a lingering back injury.  Rivera was sent down despite Asdrubal Cabrera having to leave Sunday’s game due to a re-aggravation of his knee injury.  Rivera was sent down even though he was the only thing resembling healthy versatile infield depth on the Mets roster.  Rivera being sent down meant the Mets had no margin of error on the infield.  It was something that was almost a huge issue last night as A.J. Ramos fell on Jose Reyes‘ shoulder as Reyes scored on a wild pitch.

It also meant the Mets had a short bench last night.  With Rafael Montero only being able to go five innings, Terry Collins had to use Jacob deGrom to pinch hit.  In an effort to win the game with one swing, Collins burned Rene Rivera and then turned to Jay Bruce.  When Bruce didn’t deliver, the Mets best pinch hitting option remaining was Noah Syndergaard.  Fortunately, like he has done so many times in the past, Yoenis Cespedes bailed out the Mets with a tenth inning walk off home run.

Like it has most of the season, the Mets handling of the roster has been left a lot to be desired.  It might not have cost them last night’s game, but it has cost them games this season.  With only two more days before rosters expand, hopefully, the days of the Mets purposefully playing with a short roster are behind us.

Cespedes Is King of New York

In case everyone forgot with his golfing and his stint on the disabled list, Yoenis Cespedes changed his walk-up music from his personal song . . .

. . . to one of the songs from The Lion King. Specifically, he went with the “Circle of Life.”

Apparently, Cespedes wants to remind everyone, he’s the king around here. Not the prince. THE KING!  

King Cespedes has drawn inspiration from the song celebrating his kingdom as it has inspired him to circle the bases while he gives the Mets new life:

Now, with Cespedes once again firmly establishing he’s king around here, Jose Reyes has provided him with his crown: 

Long Live King Cespedes! 

Montero Started It and Cespedes Finished It

There was little optimism for tonight’s game. The Marlins were starting Jose Fernandez, who absolutely owns the Mets. Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera couldn’t play due to injury. That left the Mets with an extremely short bench as the team sent down T.J. Rivera to make room for Rafael Montero

Yes, that Rafael Montero. In the biggest game of the biggest series of the year, the Mets led off with Montero against Fernandez because Jacob deGrom needed to have a start skipped with his recent struggles. In the biggest undersell of the century, this was far from optimal. 

Also suboptimal was the strikezone. Montero, who has not dealt well with adversity in his career, was squeezed all night. He issued six walks in five innings. In four of the five innings he pitched, he was on the verge of a meltdown. But then something funny happened. Montero bore down. 

He got out of a jam in the first by striking out J.T. Realmuto. In the fourth, he got out of a bases loaded jam by getting the opposing pitcher, Fernandez, to ground out. In the fifth, he induced a ground ball from Marcell Ozuna, and third baseman  Kelly Johnson started the inning ending 5-5-3 double play. 

It was ugly at times, but Montero pitched an effective five innings to give the Mets a chance. His final line was five innings, two hits, no runs, none earned, six walks, and three strikeouts. It may not be an outing that would earn him another start, but it was a courageous outing that shows he may still yet have a major league future. 

Sean Gilmartin and Jerry Blevins each followed Montero’s effort with a scoreless inning if their own meaning the Mets got through seven scoreless innings. It also meant the Mets successfully outlasted Fernandez, who was brilliant again. 
Fermandez’s final line was six innings, three hits, no runs, none earned, four walks (one intentional), and six strikeouts. While not particularly noteworthy against this team, the Mets were 0-6 with RISP against him. 

It became a battle of the bullpens, and the one guy you counted on most was the one who sprung a leak. Ichiro Suzuki hustled his way to a two out double off Addison ReedAlejandro De Aza made a good play on the ball, but Ichiro is just that fast. Ichiro would then score on a Xavier Scruggs RBI double. 

The Scruggs double was an absolute laser that Yoenis Cespedes didn’t have a real chance to get even at 100%. Still, he took a real baffling route to the ball. 

The Mets, specifically Jose Reyes, would respond in the bottom half of the inning. Reyes lead off with a double off reliever A.J. Ramos. Ichiro misplayed the ball, but Reyes was getting to second regardless. Reyes tagged and moved up on a deceptively deep De Aza fly ball. Normally, you’d question running on left fielder Christian Yelich who has a cannon. However, with him back pedaling, Reyes made a great read and took third. 

Cespedes then stepped to the plate with the crowd a buzz. Ramos would throw a wild pitch allowing Reyes to score. Ramos would come down on Reyes’ shoulder, but Reyes would stay in the game. 

Cespedes and Curtis Granderson would follow with singles, but the Mets couldn’t push either home. 

Jeurys Familia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. He wasn’t available to go deeper as he was due up third in the bottom of the ninth. Terry Collins couldn’t double switch him in as he had no bench to do that. 
After the ninth, the Mets really had no bench. With two outs in the ninth, Rene Rivera was announced as the pinch hitter against the lefty Mike DunnDon Mattingly countered with the right-handed Nick Wittgren.  Then in a move that made no sense Collins went to Jay Bruce as Collins was the only one who expected Bruce to hit one out of the park. He didn’t meaning the lone position player left was Walker, who couldn’t play due to his lingering back issues. 

Josh Smoker picked the Mets up with a lights out 1-2-3 tenth where he struck out two of the three batters he faced. Smoker has gotten progressively better with each and every outing since he was recalled, and he earned his first major league win because, well, Cespedes. 

 With two outs in the tenth, Cespedes hit the walk off at a time the Mets desperaty needed it. They were almost out of pitchers. They had no more bench players, and he bailed them out evening the Mets with the Marlins in the standings. 

Game Notes: With the short bench, deGrom grounded out while pinch hitting for Montero in the fifth. 

Pennant Race: The Nationals beat the  Phillies 4-0. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 6-5. The Pirates lead the Cubs 6-3 in the seventh. 

Hansel Robles Has Been Overworked

Last year, Hansel Robles found himself situtated in the back end of the Mets bullpen with Terry Collins never fully trusting him during the course of the entire season.  That was never more evidenced than when Collins only used Robles when he absolutely had to during the 2015 postseason.

In 2015, Robles made a total of 57 appearances for the Mets pitching 54.0 innings.  In the minors, he pitched in five more games pitching an additional 7.2 innings.  In total, Robles made 62 total appearances throwing 61.2 innings during the regular season.  This year, Robles has already made 56 appearances throwing a total of 63.o innings.  With a month left to go in the season, Robles has already thrown more innings than he did last year.  That’s not the only sign that Robles has been overworked this year.

Last year, Robles pitched in back-to-back games 15 times, one day of rest 18 times, and two days of rest nine times.  This year, Robles has already pitched in back-to-back games 10 times, one day of rest 17 times, and two days of rest 20 times.  In essence, Robles has been getting far less of an extended break between appearances to rest up than he did last season.  Unfortunately, there’s still more to Robles being overworked.

Throughout the entire 2015 season, Robles threw 892 pitches.  He had thrown 30 or more pitches in three separate appearances.  This year, Robles has thrown 1,149 pitches.  Moreover, he has thrown 30 or more pitches in 11 appearances.  This includes appearances in which Robles has thrown 52, 41, and 65 pitches.  In a stretch of six days ranging from June 19th to June 24th, Robles made three appearances throwing 127 pitches.  After any game Robles threw 30+ pitches, he averaged two days of rest.  That number is skewed as he once received five days of rest.  Typically, Robles has received 0-2 days of rest between 30 pitch performances.  Last year, he never threw more than 38 pitches in an appearance.  When he made that appearance last year, he was given three days of rest.

Additionally, in 2015, Robles pitched more than an inning only eight times.  In five of those appearances over one inning, he went two innings four times, and three innings once.  This year, he has already thrown more than an inning 11 times with Robles going at least two innings in 10 of those appearances.  Furthermore, Robles has gone over two innings four times, and he has pitched three innings or more on three separate occasions.

Seeing how Robles has been used, it should come as no surprise that he has seen a dip in velocity.  According to Brooks Baseball, Robles threw a 96.33 MPH four seamer, 89.74 MPH change, and an 88.25 MPH slider.  This year, his velocity is down, but most notably his slider’s velocity is down.  Robles has been throwing a 95.91 MPH fastball, an 89.00 MPH changeup, and an 84.94 MPH slider.

Overall, no matter where you look, Robles has been overworked, and recently he has been showing the effects of an increased and trying workload.  Robles has gone from a 2.98 ERA, 1.370 WHIP, and an 11.1 K/9 in the first half of the season to a 6.53 ERA, 1.548 WHIP, and a 7.8 K/9 so far in the second half.

Overall, the question shouldn’t be why Robles has suddenly gotten much worse.  The real question is whether the Mets can balance finding time for both he and Jacob deGrom to rest in order to allow them to get back to being the pitcher they truly are while also being able to stay in the pennant race.  Ultimately, the Mets are going to have to find a way because an overworked Robles is not helping them.

A Huge Game for the Mets, A Bigger One for Rafael Montero

It’s hard to think of a time when there was so much riding on one game not just for a team, but also for the team’s starting pitcher.

For the Mets, the largeness of the situation is obvious.  The Mets are entering a four game set against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.  The Mets are currently one game behind the Marlins in the race for the second Wild Card, and they are 2.5 games back (three in the loss column) of the St. Louis Cardinals.  By winning three out of four, the Mets will go from one game back of the Marlins to going two games ahead of them in the Wild Card race.  The hope is also that the Mets make up some ground against the Cardinals and Pirates as well.

For Rafael Montero, there is so much more at stake.  For Montero, his future with the entire Mets organization could very well be coming to an end.  The Mets have notable prospects like Amed Rosario, Gavin Cecchini, and Marcos Molina who will need to be added to the 40 man roster or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.  Given Montero’s failures at the major league level, and the fact that the team has been frustrated with him for well over a season now, Montero’s future with the Mets looks bleak.

It never looked bleaker than when he was demoted to AA earlier this season.  However, something strange happened there.  For the first time in his career, Montero responded to adversity.  In eight starts, Montero has gone 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP.  It is clearly the best Montero has ever pitched in his entire career.  Part of the reason why is because Montero’s command is much better in AA, and his changeup has been better.  Given his repetoire, both were always a necessity for him in order to succeed.  Another possibility for Montero’s success was his facing presumably weaker batters in AA.  This has all lead to him having more confidence on the mound, and him returning to the type of pitcher that once was regarded as a better prospect than Jacob deGrom.

The Mets need that Montero tonight against a Marlins team that has a habit of breaking the Mets’ hearts.  It’s a Marlins team that is sending their ace, Jose Fernandez, to the mound tonight.  Not only is Fernandez an ace, but he has dominated the Mets in his young career.  In seven starts against the Mets, he is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA, 0.951 WHIP, and an 11.9 K/9.  He has limited the Mets’ batters to a .181/.247/.236 batting line.  The Mets are going to need Montero to be lights out in order to keep them in the game.

If he is, Montero will not only help the Mets postseason chances, he will also help himself.  He can change what the Mets perception of him will be.  He can once again find himself a part of the Mets future instead of being a guy who may very well be on his way out the door.

 

Paul Sewald Deserves a Shot

The Mets have a back-end of the bullpen problem as no one has stepped up to claim that final spot.

For the second straight night, Sean Gilmartin had a tough outing. Overall, it has been a lost year for him with his shoulder injury and the fact that he has an 8.10 ERA in the majors this year.

He took over the spot of Erik Goeddel, who has had a disappointing year. He has a history of injuries, and he has been overworked by Terry Collins. The end result is a 4.55 ERA in 29 appearances.

One of the pleasant surprises to the season that Terry Collins helped ruined is Jim Henderson. Since coming off the disabled list, he has allowed two runs in 2.2 innings. In 29 appearances since throwing a career high 34 pitches, Henderson has a 4.74 ERA and a 1.378 WHIP.

Another nice story is Josh Smoker, who has fought his way from the Independent Leagues to the majors. Still, he has a 6.75  ERA with a 1.750 WHIP in five appearances.

Smoker has taken the place of Josh Edgin who has not fully regained his velocity in his first season after Tommy John surgery. In his limited appearances, he has a 9.82 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP.

In addition to these relievers, the Mets have tried some starters in the pen. Collins showed he had no use for Rafael Montero, who justified Collins’ refusal to play him, by pitching poorly when he finally got a shot. Gabriel Ynoa struggled out of the pen. With Steven Matz going on the disabled list, Robert Gsellman is in the rotation. Furthermore, with the Mets needing to skip a Jacob deGrom start, Montero will start on Monday.

The Mets have searched high and low, and they still haven’t found the answer in the bullpen. They haven’t found the pitcher who will be both effective and be able to allow Collins to give the overworked Hansel RoblesAddison Reed, and Jeurys Familia a break. It’s frustrating because the Mets have seemingly looked everywhere for a solution.

That is everywhere but Las Vegas 51s closer Paul Sewald. It’s strange the Mets haven’t turned to Sewald as he’s certainly merited a call-up.

In 52 appearances, Sewald is 5-3 with 19 saves, a 3.52 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and an astounding 11.2 K/9.  Further justifying a call-up is the fact that Sewald is currently pitching the best he has all year. After the All Star Break, Sewald has saved six games with a 2.25 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, and a 12.6 K/9 in 16 appearances. These numbers are all the more impressive when you consider Sewald is doing this in the extremely hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.

Consider current Mets savior Seth Lugo had a 7.73 ERA in the Pacific Coast League, and he has a 2.51 ERA in the majors. As Lugo had showed, success at the majors is all about a pitcher’s arsenal.

Sewald has similar stuff to Reed, who has been brilliant since coming under the tutelage of pitching coach Dan Warthen. Sewald features a low nineties fastball and a plus slider. He maximizes on his repertoire by studying scouting reports. It also helps that Sewald pounds the strike zone. Long story short he had the stuff to compete at the major league level.

The only question is whether he will get the chance. He should as the Mets have looked elsewhere and still haven’t found someone they can rely upon in the back end of the bullpen. They should be able to rely on Sewald.

Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsminors.net