The first notable addition under Steve Cohen’s reign of terror (terror against the rest of the league) occurred when the New York Mets signed relief pitcher Trevor May. Before they even hired a general manager, the club went out and got one of the better relief pitchers available in free agency.
Anyone who has watched a Mets game in the last several years knows how important a bullpen is. The lack of success so many relievers have had at Citi Field after exiting the home team’s bullpen is alarming.
May will look to change the fate of many of those middle relievers. In 2021, this is what I’m predicting for one of the newest members of the team in Flushing.
Mets use May as the first backup closer to Edwin Diaz
In 215 MLB games, May has only secured seven saves. However, they have happened sporadically over the last three years with the Minnesota Twins.
May saved three in 2018 and added two more in each of the next two seasons. He never was the regular closer in Minnesota. He did show he’s able to get the job done when the regular guy is out of the office.
Knowing exactly what to expect out of May this year can be a little bit of a challenge. He has only three seasons as a reliever on his resume. Two of them included less than 30 innings.
It’s what May did in 2019 that landed him his job with the Mets. Across 64.1 innings of work, he turned in a 2.94 ERA. Along with this, he averaged 11.1 strikeouts per nine.
These numbers are reflective of what he did in 2018 and 2020 albeit during a shorter sample size. Relievers are quite unpredictable. In May’s case, we can expect a lot of strikeouts and some save situations when Diaz is not available.
One major question we could see dangle out there this year is whether or not May becomes the permanent closer if Diaz loses the job. I would put him in high consideration and believe he’ll go into the year as one of the best options for the permanent job.