The Mets need bullpen help. The current Mets lefty relievers don’t get lefties out. After serious malpractice, Jack Leathersich is done for the year. Josh Edgin is done for the year with Tommy John surgery. They need a LOOGY. While he’s not a LOOGY, Michael Baron reports Clippard is effective against lefties.
Aside from lefties, Clippard is an effective reliever. While he was not as strong this year than in year’s past, he has converted 17/21 save opportunities and has a 2.79 ERA. He’s had experience in pennant races and the playoffs. The Mets’ current bullpen lacks that experience.
The Mets could use players with that experience in addition to a Jenrry Mejia replacement. Since Mejia was suspended for PED use, he is ineligible for the postseason. Right now the Mets have a 7-8-9 of Mejia-Parnell-Familia. That’s too much reliance right now on Mejia. You don’t want to go into the postseason wondering who you’re seventh inning guy is.
Speaking of the postseason, Clippard has performed reasonably well. In six innings of work, he has a 1.50 ERA with a 0.667 WHIP and seven strikeouts. In October, I would be comfortable with him in the 7th, 8th, or 9th.
So what’s the cost? It is reported the trade is focused around Rafael Montero. I’m alright with that, even if Clippard is a rental. After being sent down, it was discovered he had a rotator cuff injury. He only recently began his minor league rehab. Typically, pitchers do not deal well with rotator cuff injuries. Even before the shoulder injury, Montero was considered to be a #4 starter, at best, who was not seen as a real bullpen option (he didn’t exactly dazzle in his bullpen performance this year).
Montero will never crack this rotation (barring trade or injury), and I don’t think he will ever be a fixture in the bullpen. With the shoulder problems, I think the Mets should trade him sooner rather than later. Tyler Clippard fits the bill.