It’s no secret that the Mets bullpen has been less than good. There have been many culprits (it’s been a team effort) so it might be time to add a new, yet familiar face to the bullpen. That man should be Pedro Beato.
Beato began the season on the 60 day disabled list and was actually activated at the beginning of the month. However, after not appearing in any of the games that occured while he was up, Beato was optioned to Buffalo to make room for Chris Young. Since then, Beato has been pitching effectively at triple A, but remains absent from the Major League roster.
A rule five pick last season, Beato got off to a hot start in 2011, tossing seventeen innings without allowing an earned run while surrendering nine hits and three walks, fanning ten in the process. He then landed on the disabled list and wasn’t the same pitcher for
the remainder of the year. On the season, Beato accumulated 67 innings and pitched to a 4.30 ERA, surrendering 59 hits and 27 walks (a 1.284 WHIP and 3.6 BB/9) while striking out 39 (a K/9 of just 5.2). He did, however, post a respectable ground ball rate of 47.4%.
So far in the minors, Beato has pitched well enough to earn a promotion. In 24 total innings (four of which were at St. Lucie), Beato has allowed three earned runs (a 1.13 ERA) on sixteen hits and nine walks, punching out twenty. The walk rate of 3.4 is still a little high, but the K/9 of 7.5 is solid.
Beato would fit nicely in middle relief for the Mets for a few different reasons. First, while he doesn’t strike out an overwhelming amount of batters, he features a complete repertoire, including a fastball, cutter, changeup and curveball, which were worth the following runs above (or below) average last season per 100 pitches, respectively: -0.73, 1.35, 0.47 and 0.64. His different weapons should help him be effective against both righties and lefties. Second, he has the ability to pitch multiple innings, seeing as he was formerly a starter. He is also doing something that a lot of other Mets relievers aren’t doing: pitching well.
In order to make room for Beato, the Mets would either have to designate Miguel Batista for assignment or option Jeremy Hefner to the minors. If Batista is cut loose, Hefner could stay in long relief/mop-up work and Beato could enter middle relief. If the team optioned Hefner, Batista could slide back into that long relief role. Either way, Beato would be a welcome addition to the Mets pen.