Nothing says “exciting news” quite like re-signing Miguel Batista. Luckily, it’s just to a Minor League deal, but there’s very little to be happy about when Batista is just a plane ride away from the Major League squad.
Batista wasn’t with the New York Mets for the entire 2011 season, but he let his presence be known in the second half. The ten-team veteran was signed mid-season to a Minor League deal for pure depth purposes, as the Mets depleted bullpen needed relief–and thus Miguel Batista. Unlike his un-terrific season debut with the St. Louis Cardinals (4.60 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 0.84 K/BB in 29.3 innings), the 40 year-old hurler actually pitched well-ish for the Mets. Batista posted a 2.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 1.07 K/BB in 30.6 innings for the Mets in 2011. The majority of those innings actually came in four starts, where he posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 1.00 K/BB (he also owned a 3.86 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 1.50 K/BB in 4.6 relief innings).
Yet despite how well Batista appeared to do on the surface, his peripherals raised all kinds of red flags. The righty rolled balls at an extremely lucky .247 BABIP (career .293 BABIP), and subsequently, his 5.20 xFIP was vastly different from his seasonal 3.60 ERA. And while Batista’s fastball was worth 6.8 RAA (second positive showing in-a-row), his slider (-5.4 RAA) and change-up (-1.6 RAA) made him his repertoire look awfully one-dimensional. In addition, Batista’s new-found homerun stinginess (3.3% HR/FB) was obviously a result of the lofty dimensions of Citi Field (career 9.2% HR/FB).
It’s hard to “hate on” Miguel Batista considering his un-Miguel Batista-like performance for the Mets, but given the reality of his situation, it’s scary to think of the inevitable “Miguel Batista promoted to Major Leagues” headline sometime in June.