New York Mets News

New York Mets 2018 report cards for the relief pitchers

By Judy Kamilhor
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets celebrates the final out of the game as the New York Mets defeat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on September 26,2018 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets celebrates the final out of the game as the New York Mets defeat the Atlanta Braves 3-0 on September 26,2018 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Jacob Rhame

The Nicknames: Rhamrod (2018 Players Weekend), The Ginger Clark Kent

The Review: Jacob Rhame had a disappointing season, but there were some positives in his splits. His WHIP was significantly better against right-handed hitters, and at home. His biggest weakness is allowing way too many home runs, and his strikeout percentage is low for a reliever.

The Pitching stats:

  • G 30
  • IP 32.1
  • ERA 5.85
  • FIP 5.48
  • xFIP 5.12
  • K% 20.0
  • BB% 5.7
  • K-BB% 14.3
  • HR/9 2.23
  • WHIP 1.42 (vs. LHH 1.73/vs. RHH 1.21) (1.83 road/0.79 home)
  • GB% 27.7
  • WAR -0.4

The Grade: F+ (plus for some promising splits)

How acquired: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the PTBNL in the Curtis Granderson deal in 2017. (per Baseball Reference)

Drew Smith

The Nicknames: Smitty (2018 Players Weekend), Dr. Smith

The Review: Drew Smith was mentioned as an “Other prospect of note” for the 2016 Detroit Tigers who drafted him in the third round of the 2015 amateur draft. Then he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays as the PTBNL in the Mikie Mahtook deal after being ranked as Detroit’s 17th best prospect.

Even though his stats look much better than Rhame’s, the only real difference is in home runs allowed. Their xFIP is almost exactly the same, which is a good predictor of future results. Their WHIP is almost exactly the same. So the question is: will Smith keep his HR/9 this low, or was this mostly luck?

Looking at his minor league stats, I would say he has a good chance of maintaining a low HR/9, as that has been a strength every season of his young career.

And speaking of luck, he may have had bad luck with an abnormally high BABIP of .348. If that regresses to a more typical .300, he could be an asset moving forward.

The Pitching stats:

  • G 27
  • IP 28
  • ERA 3.54
  • FIP 3.66
  • xFIP 4.91
  • K% 15.0
  • BB% 5.0
  • K-BB% 10.0
  • HR/9 0.64
  • WHIP 1.43
  • GB% 38.0
  • WAR 0.3

How acquired: Traded by the Tampa Bay Rays for Lucas Duda in 2017, starting the parade of right-handed relievers acquired by the Mets. (per Baseball Reference)

Eric Hanhold

The Review: Eric Hanhold got hit hard in his cup of coffee in September. He somehow managed a 7.71 ERA without giving up a home run. Then he ended up on the 60-day DL with an oblique injury.

The Pitching stats:

  • G 3
  • IP 2.1
  • ERA 7.71
  • FIP 4.02
  • xFIP 6.14
  • K% 15.4
  • BB% 7.7
  • K-BB% 7.7
  • WHIP 2.14

The Grade: Incomplete

How acquired: Hanhold was the PTBNL from Milwaukee in the Neil Walker trade in 2017. (per Baseball Reference)

Gerson Bautista

The Review: Gerson Bautista had a forgettable season in 2018, but he still may play a role in the Mets bullpen in the next few years. Obviously, he needs to get back his control and power arm if he wants another real chance to stick.

Many people were optimistic when he was called up in April to replace Hansel Robles. Then he did this. His control deserted him in his second appearance, and then he alternated between grooving the ball and being wild.

The Pitching stats:

  • G 5
  • IP 4.1
  • ERA 12.46
  • FIP 11.24
  • xFIP 8.29
  • K% 12.0
  • BB% 20.0
  • K-BB% -8.0
  • WHIP 3.00

The Grade: Incomplete

How acquired: Part of the package for Addison Reed from the Red Sox in 2017. (per Baseball Reference)

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