Mets Final Season Grades – Relievers
Throughout the season, I attempted to grade the different Mets players performances for each month of the season. In determining the year end grades, the aggregate of the monthly grades given was considered, but it wasn’t conclusive. For example, one player’s awful month could be more than offset by having an incredible month. Also, those decisions were made in the heat of the moment. There has been a cooling off period in giving these finals grades, and with that, there is time for reflection. It should also be noted the Wild Card Game did have some impact on these grades as that game was part of the story of the 2016 Mets. Overall, the final grades assessed considered the monthly grades, but also took into account that player(s) overall impact on the Mets season (good or bad). For the ninth set of grades, here are the other Mets relievers:
This was the second year of his career, and to date, he has yet to carve out a role for himself. The main reason for that is Terry Collins has used him in every sort of role imaginable. He has been used to bail the Mets out of a bases loaded no out jam. He has been used as a set-up man in the seventh and eighth innings. He has closed out a game. He has also been called on to pitch over three innings in a game. Without looking it up, it is safe to say Robles was the only pure reliever this year to throw a pitch in every inning this season. Essentially, Robles has become the Mets version of Ramiro Mendoza.
Robles was having a great year for himself too before Collins over-worked him. In a one week span, Robles threw 127 pitches while making three appearances of over two innings. Robles next appearance after that? Well, it was four days later, and it was a two inning effort that needed Robles to throw 33 pitches. By late August, he was spent having made many more appearances and having thrown many more pitches than he had his entire career. Overall, Robles was 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.352 WHIP.
Who knows what’s in store for Robles in 2017? Whatever it is, we can reasonably assume he will perform well in that role.
With Blevins injured in 2015, the Mets had a long search for a LOOGY that never materialized. In 2016, we all got to see what the Mets were missing as Blevins had a good year. Overall, Blevins made 73 appearances going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.214 WHIP. As luck would have it, Blevins would actually have reverse splits for the first time in his career.
Right-handed batters were only able to hit .182/.266/.345 off of Blevins while left-handed batters hit .255/.313/.324 off of him. Those numbers are usually reversed, and in reality, right-handed batters typically hit him much harder than that. This speaks to the strides Blevins made in becoming more than just a LOOGY. He became a pitcher that can be relied upon to pitch a full inning. It increased not just his value to the Mets, but also his free agent value.
Gilmartin went from an important piece of the Mets bullpen in 2015 to having a lost year. He began the year in AAA as a starter, but by the end of the year, it would be unclear what his role with the Mets would be in the future.
Initially, Gilmartin succeeded as a starter, but he would be called up to the Mets to pitch out of the pen. He would be used on three days or less of rest. Initially, he pitched well out of the pen for the Mets encouraging the team to do it more. As a result, his numbers suffered, and he missed part of the year with a shoulder injury. When it became time for the Mets to go to the minor leagues for starting pitching depth, Gilmartin was no longer an option on that front. When the Mets were desperate enough in September to give him a start, he wouldn’t make it out of the first inning.
Overall, Gilmartin made 14 appearances going 0-1 with a 713 ERA and a 1.585 WHIP. After a year like this, it will be interesting to see what role, if any, Gilmartin has on the Mets in 2017.
It appears that Goeddel may be the Eric Campbell of relief pitchers. There are many people who point to a number of statistics to say he should be a capable major league player. However, as the sample size grows and grows, his performance suffers as do his numbers. In 36 appearances this season, Goeddel was 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.138 WHIP. This was a result of him becoming more hittable and his issuing more walks. With all that said, there is still hope for him as he did post a 9.1 K/9. Despite that, he looks like he will be best suited to starting the year in the minors.
Josh Edgin C-
In Edgin’s first year back from Tommy John surgery, he did not regain his velocity, and he had some trouble with his control. Those two issues combined led to him issuing more walks and to batters getting more hits off of him. In his 16 appearances for the Mets, he would to 1-0 with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.548 WHIP.
These are ugly numbers indeed, but there was some good news behind those numbers. Edgin, who was supposed to be the Mets LOOGY entering 2015, did limit left-handed batters to a .235/.300/.235 batting line. In that essence, Edgin proved he could handle the role as a LOOGY, and it appears the Mets just might given him that chance in 2017.
Josh Smoker C+
Here is what Smoker is: he is a fastball throwing left-handed pitcher that racks up strikeouts. He is not a pitcher that can left-handed batters out, nor is he a pitcher that should ever pitch more than one inning. Collins inability to recognize that led to Smoker’s numbers being worse than they could have been. Keep in mind, Smoker was called upon to go more than one inning, three times, and on each occasion he allowed a home run.
Overall, Smoker was 3-0 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.304 WHIP. Most impressively, Smoker struck out 14.7 batters per nine innings. With those strikeout numbers, Smoker belongs in a major league bullpen, and chances are, we may very well find himself in one next season.
All you need to know about his season is the Mets traded him away and gave the Pirates money to obtain Jon Niese, who was having the worst year of his career. When the Mets are giving other teams money to take players off their hands, you know a player was having a nightmare of a season.