Sep 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcherVic Black
(38) throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit- Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
How He Did On The Mound:
Black joined the Mets as a September call-up and saw lots of game action in his first stint with the Mets. In 13 innings he posted a 3.46 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 4 walks. He gave up only 3 extra-base hits, 1 home run and 2 doubles.
Terry Collins threw Black right into the fire, using him in the 8th inning in 10 of his appearances, the 9th twice, and the 12th once. He picked up his first Major League save on September 24, in Cincinnati.
Areas To Improve Upon:
As a power pitcher one of the biggest areas for improvement is command. One of Black’s greatest weapons is his fastball, and as the Mets and the fans have seen with the evolution of Bobby Parnell, control of the fastball is essential. In 15 games he had 3 wild pitches, and over a full season that could lead to trouble.
Projected Role In 2014:
Black has a good chance of making the team out of spring training. The Mets originally drafted Black out of high school in 2006, and they showed confidence in him by giving him so many late-game opportunities. He could eventually grow into another closing option but next year his role as either a 7th or 8th inning option will likely be influenced by the health of Bobby Parnell.
The acquisition of Black could turn into something of a steal for the Mets. Byrd and Buck certainly helped the Pirates this season but Black looks like somebody who will be around for years to come. 2014 would be his first full season in the Major Leagues and he has the potential to be a solid late-inning option in front of Parnell.
Contract Status & Trade Rumors:
Vic Black will be under team control for the foreseeable future. He will not be arbitration eligible until 2016 and eligible for free agency until 2019. Black is almost guaranteed to stick around and be free of any trade rumors, as heavily relied upon relievers such as LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Byrdak, and Scott Atchison move towards the end of their careers.