In his short time with the New York Mets, veteran lefty reliever Chasen Shreve has gotten the job done out of the bullpen.
The 2020 season is a quarter of the way complete and yet we still have no clue what the story of the New York Mets will be this year.
One thing that has been a pleasant surprise is the performance of some of their relievers. I’m not talking about Dellin Betances either. The most effective reliever the Mets brought in over the offseason was the first significant guy they signed, Chasen Shreve.
Through his first 6.1 innings of work, Shreve has been incredibly effective. He has averaged 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings during this limited sample size. At 29, I’m starting to think it might be a good idea to keep in touch with him on a possible major league contract for next season.
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This winter, the Mets are set to lose Justin Wilson to free agency. The only other left-hander we have seen come in as a reliever for the Mets in 2020, Wilson is a little older than Shreve and possibly closer to the end of his career than we thought last season.
Shreve isn’t the only reliever with a surprisingly strong start. Jared Hughes and Drew Smith have also gotten off to good starts. At the risk of jinxing anything, we have also seen promising results on the mound from Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz.
The story of the 2019 Mets focused heavily on the collapse of their bullpen. This hasn’t been the case for the 2020 squad. Players like Shreve have stepped up and kept the Mets in games.
Coming from him, it’s quite impressive. Shreve spent almost all of 2019 in Triple-A for the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 60 innings on the farm for them. His ERA was at a solid 3.45.
Shreve is perhaps best remembered as one of the players traded to the Cardinals by the New York Yankees for Luke Voit. Voit powered his way into the Yankees’ lineup while Shreve seemed to cling to MLB life.
Time has gone by since the trade. Shreve is with a new organization and the idea that he was the “bad part” of a trade is no longer there.
Most helpful of all has been Shreve’s ability to go beyond the typical one inning of work. In each of his three appearances, he has recorded at least six outs. Whether winning or losing, it’s important to have arms like this in the bullpen.
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Shreve has made a strong case for himself to get back on a major league roster permanently next year. Originally signed on a minor league contract by the Mets, the lanky lefty is off to a fine start in a new borough of the Big Apple.