After playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, Fernando Salas is back with the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Salas, who was signed on a one-year deal this offseason, is believed to be a key piece for the team’s bullpen this upcoming season.
Salas encountered some visa issues last week after Mexico was eliminated from the WBC, so his arrival at camp had unfortunately been delayed. But now that he’s in camp, it’ll be interesting to see where manager Terry Collins decides to use him.
With the expected suspension of Jeurys Familia getting closer and closer to becoming a reality , all other relievers will be expected to step up and possibly fill in new roles. While most of us naturally believe Addison Reed will be given the spot at the end of games, the set-up role vacated by him now needs to be filled.
Hansel Robles has tried to make a case for fitting in that spot, but after struggling at the World Baseball Classic with the Dominican Republic, his stock is rapidly falling.
Enter Fernando Salas.
Like Robles, Salas wasn’t great in the World Baseball Classic, but he was extremely solid when he arrived in Queens last season. He pitched in 17 games, and threw 17 1/3 innings over which he only allowed 11 hits and 4 runs. His 2.08 ERA was obviously over a small sample size, but it was encouraging to see him feel comfortable in the big city right away and mesh into the team’s bullpen. The hope is that it carries over into this season as well.
Alderson and his staff decided to bring back Salas to give the bullpen added depth, and as a guy that can get both lefties and righties out, he should be considered at length to help anchor the backend of the bullpen.