Former Mets Hansel Robles, Rafael Montero headed in opposite directions
By Tim Boyle
Former New York Mets pitchers Hansel Robles and Rafael Montero have found themselves racking up saves since leaving the club. However, each is now headed in opposite directions.
In case you haven’t been keeping tabs on Hansel Robles since he left the New York Mets in 2018, you have missed a rollercoaster.
Robles was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels in mid-2018 after another rough year with the Mets. He seemed to turn things completely around out west, finishing the year with a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 innings of work. He even earned two saves for the Angels which set him up nicely for an amazing 2019.
Last year, Robles was 5-1 out of the Angels’ bullpen with a 2.48 ERA and 23 saves. He was on pace to become one of those ex-Mets we wished didn’t slip away. He may still turn things around, but in 2020, he has been back to his old ways.
Through his first 13 appearances, Robles has tossed 11 innings. He has a 13.09 ERA and only a single save.
The Angels acted quickly removing him from the closer role. Duties have since shifted away from Robles. His time as a big league closer may already be over with.
Robles isn’t the only former Mets pitcher who found some success in the ninth inning over the last few years. The Texas Rangers have a familiar name as their closer this year. Rafael Montero, the man many scouts predicted would be better than Jacob deGrom, has 7 saves for the Rangers through his first 9 games of the year.
Montero isn’t lucking into it either. He has a 2.79 ERA and a strikeout rate of 10.2 per nine. Is this an anomaly? Well, if last year was any indication, it might not be.
Montero first pitched out of the Texas bullpen in 2019. In 29 innings he was 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and a strikeout rate of 10.6. It was his first big league action since his time with the Mets back in 2017 when he tossed a career-high 119 innings.
A lot of time has passed since the days of seeing Robles and Montero step on the mound at Citi Field wearing orange and blue. We’ve seen countless men try to get outs with the Flushing faithful rooting them on—this year from afar.
It’s not unbelievable that these two men have found some success elsewhere. They are doing what Jason Isringhausen did in the early 2000s as a converted reliever.
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While it looks like Robles may have caught some lightning in a bottle that has since dissipated, Mets fans will have to cling to hope that the elite talent Montero is showing in Texas also soon fades away.