New York Mets News

Mets: Why Chasen Shreve is worth bringing back in 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03: Chasen Shreve #47 of the New York Mets pitches during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Citi Field on September 03, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03: Chasen Shreve #47 of the New York Mets pitches during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Citi Field on September 03, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Chasen Shreve was great for the New York Mets in 2020 and can be even more valuable in 2021.

Chasen Shreve joined the New York Mets with middling expectations after a brief and turbulent stint with the St. Louis Cardinals. When SNY reported that Shreve was signed only to a minor league deal, the left-handed pitcher was not guaranteed a spot in the Mets bullpen. However, considering that the New York bullpen was deprived of southpaws outside of Justin Wilson, it was imperative that the Mets search for another reliable left-handed pitcher in their bullpen.

Shreve showed enough in 2020 to give the Mets confidence that he could be that other left-handed pitcher they needed. Because of his 2020 performance, Chasen Shreve has a spot on the 2021 Mets.

Shreve had a solid year in the truncated 2020 season. He posted the second-lowest WHIP of his career at 1.160 and struck out 34 batters in 25 innings of work while providing New York with another reliable southpaw in the bullpen.

More from Rising Apple

Besides providing Mets manager Luis Rojas with another left-handed specialist, Shreve is versatile as a pitcher in that he can also serve in a long relief situation.

Over the course of the 2020 season, especially in the beginning of the year, Shreve was often tasked with serving in a long relief situation to start games. In his first six appearances as a long reliever, Shreve posted a 3.09 ERA, a 0.77 WHIP, and struck out 17 batters over 11.2 innings.

How Shreve was utilized in the beginning of the season shows how teams, because of analytics, are now employing pitchers.

Over the past couple of seasons, teams have experimented with the concept of deploying an opener at the beginning of a game, instead of a traditional starting pitcher.

One strategy of employing an opener is that a team could use a hard-throwing specialist to get the heart of the lineup out. When the opener is successful, the job of the next pitcher, which is usually the starting pitcher, becomes significantly easier as they would start off facing the weaker hitters. The opener strategy also allows the starting pitcher to only face the more dangerous hitters two times instead of three.

Considering that starting pitchers, from a statistical point of view, allow a higher batting average the third time through the order, it makes sense logically that managers would be keen to prevent them from seeing an opponent’s best hitters three times.

The Mets are in an unique position where they should consider employing an opener next season due to the patches in their rotation. With Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha being free agents, Steven Matz being unreliable, and Noah Syndergaard being out at the start of the year because he will be recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Mets are unlikely to have enough reliable starting pitchers to fill out a traditional five-pitcher rotation.

As a result, the Mets may need to consider using an opener, or a bullpen day, every fifth day. This is where Shreve could be valuable. He has a proven record this season in being used in such a role, and with an effective fastball and split-finger fastball that comprised 91.9% of pitches he threw in 2020, he is a perfect candidate to be the Mets’ opener next season if the team cannot acquire talented starting pitching in free agency.

Next. Should the Mets extend Noah Syndergaard?

Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!

Write for us!

At the very least, Shreve would fortify the bullpen by offering them another hard-throwing left-handed pitcher who proved in 2020 that he can get batters out consistently.

facebooktwitterreddit