Mets: Tyler Bashlor is the latest reliever they can lean on
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets rookie Tyler Bashlor is escaping innings without allowing runs. Is it time they use him in more important situations?
The 2018 New York Mets bullpen has been as reliable as that one friend we all have. You know. Your friend who says they’ll show up and never do?
That’s what this group of relief pitchers have been all year long.
Occasionally, someone comes along and gets the job done. Lately, rookie Tyler Bashlor has been the one to do it.
A few weeks ago, Tim Peterson stepped up and became the one arm in the relief corps Mickey Callaway could call upon for big outs. This isn’t the case any longer. Peterson has caught the bullpen bug and now looks like a mop-up man. Through his first 11 innings, Bashlor has yet to fall off his horse.
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The 11 innings Bashlor has tossed come from six appearances. The owner of a 3.27 ERA, he’s doing it with some really good luck. Bashlor has as many walks as strikeouts (6) and a WHIP of 1.45. Yet here we are on the day of the trade deadline. Bashlor is getting outs and taking names.
The job well done by Bashlor comes in an unexpected way. Since becoming a professional ballplayer, strikeouts have been his forte. He reached a career-best 15.2 per nine in 2017 which were unfortunately accompanied with a walk rate of 4.5 per nine.
Like many pitchers who have come through this organization, Bashlor is a graduate of Tommy John Surgery. After going under the knife, it cost him the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Now back and healthy, he’s doing the job many more experienced arms have been unable to all year long.
The timing couldn’t be better for him to figure things out. Bashlor has two months to pitch often and showcase what he can do against big league hitters. There should be several openings in the Mets bullpen next year. If he can ever figure things out, a high-leverage role could belong to him.
We haven’t seen Bashlor in an important game yet. In each of his six appearances, the Mets took home a loss. Callaway seems to view him as a last resort. The Mets manager may want to soon rethink this. Bashlor is getting outs and at the very least keeping the game within reach.
As important as it for the Mets to use guys like Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Anthony Swarzak in important innings this year, they also should not hesitate to give kids like Bashlor the chance.
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