Due to the unavailability of Kirk Nieuwenhuis Wednesday afternoon with his bruised hand, Terry Collins and the Mets decided to call up Jordany Valdespin, and optioned Justin Hampson (0 earned runs in 3 relief appearances) back to Triple-A Buffalo. Nieuwenhuis felt better taking batting practice before the Mets’ 9-2 loss to the Phillies, and it looks as though a trip to the disabled list will not be likely. Collins said that the team will be making a move soon to call up another reliever, and they already did so quickly after their loss.
Jeremy Hefner had thrown 4.1 scoreless innings in his last four appearances to finally bring his season ERA to 4.97, but he struggled in his outing against the Phillies, giving up three runs on five hits. An hour after the game was over, the Mets announced they have optioned the right-hander back to Triple-A in favor of Pedro Beato, who will be replacing Hefner on the active roster in Flushing. Beato has been waiting for this call for quite some time, as he was put on the 60-day DL in spring training with a right rotator cuff strain.
Most felt once his rehab assignment was completed and he would be eligible to come off the disabled list on June 6th, he would immediately be called up to a struggling Mets bullpen, but that wasn’t the case. Beato was optioned to Triple-A on June 8th, where he continued to find his stride as he compiled a 3-2 record, 1.13 ERA, and 18 strikeouts in 24 innings of work. The right-handed reliever has held opposing hitters to a .175
average, and is showing signs in certain situations in Buffalo that he’s ready to try and help this bullpen, who seems to struggle every other night to bridge the gap from the starting pitcher to the closer, whether it’s Bobby Parnell or Frank Francisco.
The statistic that jumps out the most is what he’s been able to do when there are runners on base. He’s pitched a total of 10 innings in that situation, and has compiled an ERA of 1.80, only giving up 2 earned runs. Opposing batters are hitting at a .212 clip off him in that situation, but his GO/AO is an absurd 1.71. Throughout all of the different situations he’s pitched in while coming out of the Bisons bullpen, his GO/AO has consistently stayed above 1.00, which will be crucial if he comes in with runners on base, looking for a pitcher’s best friend (the double play, of course).
He will most likely be used instead of Miguel Batista for middle relief (at least, we can only hope), and coming in with runners on base will be happening a lot, so he needs to continue stranding runners at the 81.1% clip he’s been doing for Wally Backman in Buffalo, and not that 59% clip he put together in Flushing last season. Either way, these next four games before the All-Star break will no doubt be a quick audition to see if Beato can be the solution to help give the Mets that middle relief help.
Sandy Alderson has said numerous times that the organization will be looking for external solutions, but every move is calculated for this franchise right now. Since Jenrry Mejia is continuing to show he can’t help the Mets out of the bullpen right now (10.00 ERA in 8 appearances), Beato is the last internal solution the Mets have before they need to make a move on the trade market. The front office has stated they plan on waiting until after the All-Star game to allow the market for relievers to develop more, and although that has made us all scratch our heads at the time, this may be why.
It looks as though Pedro Beato will dictate what kind of external help Alderson pursues this month to help keep the Mets in the race. Let’s hope Beato brings a stabilizing presence to a bullpen that could really use it.
Topics: Bobby Parnell, Buffalo Bisons, Frank Francisco, Jenrry Mejia, Jeremy Hefner, Jordany Valdespin, Justin Hampson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt Musico, Mets Bullpen, Miguel Batista, New York Mets, Pedro Beato Called Up, Rising Apple, Wally Backman