Welcome Back Jeremy Hefner
One thing is abundantly clear – the Mets love them some Jeremy Hefner!
The Mets drafted him not once, but twice. After he didn’t sign with the team after the 2004 or 2005 draft, the Padres drafted and signed Hefner in 2007.
When he was designated for assignment by the Padres in 2011, he was claimed by the Pirates. When the Pirates did the same a month later, there was the Mets pouncing and finally getting their man.
A year later, Hefner would finally make his Mets debut. It would be quite notable as Hefner would become the first 26th man in Major League history when he entered in relief in the first game of the April 23rd doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants.
Hefner showed real promise in 2013 with a 1.80 ERA in June and a 3.33 first half ERA. Unfortunately, like Matt Harvey, his promising season ended when he succumbed to a torn UCL requiring Tommy John surgery.
Harvey would return for 2015 glory, but Hefner wouldn’t. While he rehabbed with Harvey, something went wrong, and he would need another Tommy John surgery. He’d be a warning sign for Harvey causing the team to force him to ease up on his rehab. For all we know it also caused the Mets to be smarter with Zack Wheeler, who missed two years with his own Tommy John surgery and ensuing complications.
Like Wheeler, Hefner was a Met in name only as he watched the team won a pennant. Sadly, he’d be released at the end of the year, and his comeback attempt with the Cardinals didn’t lead to another shot in the majors.
Hefner landed on his feet as a member of the Twins organization as a scout, and this past year, he was the assistant pitching coach. He’s become very well regarded in the game in very short order. Once again, the Mets pursued him.
This time, it was much easier. Following a theme with their hiring Carlos Beltran, the team brought back Jeremy Hefner. Once again, he’s home with the Mets where he belongs. Once again, the Mets finally got Hefner in a Mets uniform.