New York Mets News

Vic Black: Mets Season in Review

By Danny Abriano
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Our Season in Review series wraps up with Vic Black, who made an impact in the back-end of the bullpen after an early-season stint in the minors.

How he fared in 2014:

Black came into spring training all but assured a spot on the Opening Day roster, but an almost total lack of control resulted in him opening up with Triple-A Las Vegas and remaining there until late-May.

Once back with the Mets, Black showed why he was so highly thought of, utilizing his upper-90s fastball and a hammer curve to stymie opposing hitters.

Black still walked a ton of batters (4.93 per 9), but he negated that issue a bit by not allowing many hits and by keeping the ball in the yard.

In 34.2 innings pitched over 41 appearances, the 26-year-old Black posted a 2.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP while striking out 8.31 per 9.

A bulging disk in his neck hampered Black late in the season and eventually led to him being shut down a bit early. Black will not need surgery for the injury, and is expected to be ready well in advance of spring training.

Areas to improve upon:

Walks.

Black will likely never call control one of his strengths, but if he can simply get his walk rate under 4 per 9 in 2015 it’ll be a huge step in the right direction. With Black’s ability to miss bats, limit hits, and prevent the longball, a walk rate below 4 (or better) would make him that much more of a weapon.

Projected role in 2015:

Black should be in the back-end of the Mets bullpen with Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Bobby Parnell.

Contract status and trade rumors:

Black, who is not yet eligible for arbitration, will make a bit more than 500K in 2014.

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