New York Mets News

Mets Ink Tim Byrdak to Minor League Deal

By Unknown author

Apparently, the New York Mets aren’t done adding depth to their bullpen. The Mets have signed left-handed reliever, Tim Byrdak, to a minor league deal. Byrdak is specifically being brought in to challenge the recently signed Taylor Tankersley as the left-handed specialist.

Tim Byrdak, who is a 37 year-old left-handed reliever, has been playing in the majors since 1998, first breaking in with the Kansas City Royals. After three seasons of 8.27 ERA baseball in the majors, Byrdak didn’t see his next cup of coffee until 2005 with the Baltimore Orioles. However, the lefty didn’t hit his grove as a dependable reliever until 2007 with the Detroit Tigers, posting a 3.20 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and a 9.8 K/9 IP. Since 2007, Byrdak has posted a combined and respectable 3.46 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and a 8.2 K/9 IP–but he has also never been able to keep the walks down, posting a career 5.5 BB/9 IP. Aside from the high walk totals and early career struggles, Byrdak does have a knack for shutting down lefties, owning a clip of .202/.296/.382 against them.

Despite having more experience as a lefty specialist, Byrdak is hardly a lock to beat out Tankersley for the gig. This is mostly due to a “red flag”-filled 2010 season with the Astros in 2010

, where he sported a significantly lower K/9 IP (6.8), an increasing H/9 IP (9.3 compared to 5.7 in 2009), and only pitching 38.6 innings. Regardless of whether the veteran Byrdak can hold off the youngster Tankersley in Spring Training, the Mets will have a cheap lefty-specialist in 2011.