To take the focus off the Madoff/Wilpon scandal, the Mets signed pitchers Dale Thayer and Casey Fossum to minor league deals. Both are a long-shots to secure spots in the bullpen, but Fossum–as a lefty–at least has a chance to fight off Taylor Tankersley and Tim Byrdak for the lefty specialist role.
Thayer, a former San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays farm hand, has been absolutely dominant in the minor leagues. For the past eight seasons, the 30 year-old righty owns a career 2.46 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 IP, 2.99 K/BB, and 152 Saves. However, in limited major league appearances for the Rays, Thayer posted a 7.47 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, and a 5.7 K/9 IP in 15.6 IP. On the surface, his tenure in the show has been unspectacular, but if there’s one saving grace, it’s that he’s only walked one batter in those 15.6 IP. At this point in his career, he might just be a minor league journeyman, but then again, he’s never pitched more than 14 innings in a given major league season.
Fossum, on the other hand, has been given plenty of opportunities to prove his former “top prospect” status, but has continually fell short. The lefty, who was raised a starting pitcher, posted two solid major league seasons in both 2002 (3.46 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 8.5 K/9 IP, and 2.5 BB/9 IP in 106.6 IP) and 2005 (4.92 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7.1 K/9 IP, and 3.3 BB/9 IP in 162.6 IP), but has otherwise been very hittable and ineffective. His last major league season was actually with the Mets in 2009, but he only notched four innings. The now reliever spent 2010 in Japan, and at age 33, he’s lucky to be considered a pitching option.
As two pitchers who have dominated the minors, Dale Thayer and Casey Fossum will most likely look to continue their reign against inexperienced hitters in 2011. At the very least, the signings give the Mets some respectable Triple-A depth, and in the event of an injury, either reliever could hopefully muster some success in a short major league stint.
Tags: Ben Berkon Bernie Madoff Bernie Madoff Fred Wilpon Bullpen Casey Fossum Casey Fossum Mets Casey Fossum New York Mets Dale Thayer Dale Thayer Mets Dale Thayer New York Mets Fossum Fossum Mets Fossum New York Mets Madoff Mets New York New York Mets Taylor Tankersley Thayer Thayer Mets Thayer New York Mets Tim Byrdak Wilpons