New York Mets: Five recent players we forgot played in Flushing
In the category of “obscure Mets relievers from the 2010s,” Blaine Boyer is among the most obscure. He came to New York before the 2011 season, having spent the first several years of his career with the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Boyer had had a few solid seasons, but his career had mostly been up-and-down. The Mets signed him as a free agent, hoping he could round into form as a righty out of the pen.
Alas, Boyer proved to be no more than a footnote in the Mets’ 2011 season. He appeared in only five games with the Mets, notching one save and allowing eight runs in 6. 2 innings. In the world of Mets karma, it’s not all that surprising that Boyer was ineffective in Queens. While still with the Braves in 2008, he had several disastrous relief appearances against the Philadelphia Phillies that likely helped them win the division, keeping the Mets out of a playoff spot.
The Mets released Boyer on April 13, after just five appearances with the orange and blue. He bounced around the minor leagues for a few more teams in 2011 and didn’t return to the major leagues until 2013. Ultimately, he left Flushing just as unceremoniously as he arrived.
For a reliever who appeared in 44 Mets games as recently as 2016, Jim Henderson, unfortunately, did not leave much of an impression on me. He came over to the Mets from the Milwaukee Brewers, where he had spent the first three years of his career in their bullpen. Henderson enjoyed a fine year in 2013, pitching to a 2.70 ERA with 28 saves. He regressed the next season, where he only managed a 7.15 ERA, and ended up missing the entire 2015 season with a shoulder injury.
The Mets signed Henderson in December of 2015, and he made the team coming out of 2016 spring training. Henderson looked sharp to start his Mets career, pitching brilliantly in spring training and beginning the regular season by surrendering just one run in 9.1 innings.
As it turned out, the Mets may have been too reliant upon Henderson early on. They pitched him an average of once every two days in April 2016 even though he hadn’t thrown in the major leagues in nearly two years. He ended up going down again with injuries in May, missing a couple of months. Though he made it back to pitch again for the Mets in August, his time in Queens would end after the season.
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Mets fans are used to taking chances on players who are past their prime or completely unknown, merely praying that they’ll exceed expectations once in Queens. For every R.A. Dickey and J.D. Davis, there have been many Jack Reinheimers and Blaine Boyers. It remains to be seen whether the 2020 season will feature more of the former or the later.