menu

Swarzak Good But Not Final Piece For 2018 Mets Bullpen

After the purported hand-wringing Sandy Alderson was doing over the free agent reliever market, the Mets finally pulled the trigger, and they signed Anthony Swarzak to a two year $14 million deal.

There is a lot to like about Swarzak.  Last year, the 32 year old had his best ever season going 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA, 1.034 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and a 10.6 K/9.  As noted by D.J. Short of Rotoworld, Swarzak had a higher swinging strike percentage than old friend Addison Reed.  Part of that could be attributed to the fact he added about two MPH on his fastball.

He’s also been a platoon neutral pitcher his entire career with his best season being in 2017.  While limiting right-handed batters to a .218/.259/.346 batting line, left-handed batters were worse against him hitting .198/.294/.281.

These stats are all the more incredible and important when you consider he predominantly worked in the 7th and 8th innings. The Mets needed another set-up man to work with AJ Ramos to hand the ball to Jeurys Familia in the 9th.

Overall, this is all important, and the signing helps the Mets.  However it isn’t enough, especially because this is all but a shapshot of Swarzak’s career.

It was just in 2015 Swarzak had a 5.26 ERA and 1.516 WHIP in the Korean Leagues.  In 2016, his first season back from Korea, he was 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA for the Yankees.

While he was obviously improved since then, it was mostly on the strength of some outliers.  Prior to last season, he yielded a .304 BABIP.  In 2017, that number was .272.

Prior to 2017, Swarzak left 69.8% of runners on base, which is right around league average.  Last season, his LOB% was a career best 82.9%.

Maybe these numbers were all the result of improved stuff.  Maybe it was him becoming more comfortable in the bullpen.  It’s just as possible the increased velocity and some of the BABIP and LOB% will regress to league and career norms.

Overall, the Mets did acquire a quality reliever who should prove to better than internal options like Hansel Robles, Paul Sewald, and Josh Smoker.  Moreover, Swarzak is getting the opportunity to work with Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland.  If there’s a tandem you trust to help Swarzak make 2017 the new norm instead of an outlier, it’s them.

Still, with the stark contrast between the 2017 and career numbers, the Mets need to hedge their bets that Swarzak may very well regress.  In the end, this means that while Swarzak may very well prove to be a nice addition, he’s far from being the final piece of the puzzle.

12 thoughts on “Swarzak Good But Not Final Piece For 2018 Mets Bullpen”

  1. Five Tool Ownership says:

    Nestor Cortes

    They could have picked him in the Rule 5 draft!!!!

    Nestor Cortes
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=cortes000nes&utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-

    But they pick a long shot project and then sell him for most likely cash, that is Burch Smith

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Burch Smith was the best player available in the draft

      1. Gothamist says:

        Burch Smith, if he was tge best was sold to KC for cash!
        They had like the 5th pick, a ratety and they harvested cash!

        Cortes vs Smith stats?
        Cortes maybe a year early to contribute, for a teamnot in the hunt…
        Smith looks wild and SD HRs last year?

  2. Five Tool Ownership says:

    The Mets magic number $7 two years almost identical to Blevins.
    Saw some video and he looks to have become quite effective.
    Will he revert, who knows…
    I like the odds.
    But the Cubs are loading up w a signing last night.

    1. Gothamist says:

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=cortes000nes&utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-

      NESTOR CORTES

      RARELY HAVE I SEEN MINOR LEAGUE STATS LIKE THIS

      BB
      K
      Hr
      Whip
      ERA

      AMAZING!

      Well the Mets sold Burton Smith to KC for $1M
      a cool million!

      what is sad is that he is a 36th round pick!!
      during years the yankees were in the playoffs and mets were not!!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I mean; I like Sewald. However, that’s not a selling point as Sewald is near the 40 man bubble.

      1. Gothamist says:

        No way he has fallen that low.

        You were much higher on him before?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’ve always like Sewald, but the 40 man roster is too reliever heavy. There are players like McGowan, Bradford, and Reynolds who will go first. After that, Sewald’s ability to stay on the roster becomes a question mark, especially when you consider the Mets Rafael Montero obsession.

  3. Andrew says:

    How good do you think sewald is? (To me he is a good mr/low end set up man)

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Sewald is definitely an MLB caliber reliever. If given a chance to succeed and if he continues to improve, I could see him being Addison Reed.

      In judging this comp, remember Reed was a different reliever before joining the Mets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *