Among the many offseason additions by the New York Mets, relief pitcher Jacob Barnes was one of the first. A waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels, the veteran reliever is a current member of the team’s 26-man roster.
Barnes doesn’t exactly have the best career numbers which explains why he was available in the first place. In 198 innings of work, he’s 4-13 with a 4.36 ERA.
In his 2020 season with the Angels, he had an odd 18 innings. At 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA, he managed to have a terrific 2.25 FIP thanks in part to his rate of 2 walks and 12 strikeouts per nine innings. It would seem Barnes was the unfortunate victim of some tough luck.
Will Jacob Barnes actually make the Mets Opening Day roster?
Last year’s performance wasn’t just bad luck. Given his track record, Barnes isn’t about to put together an awesome year for New York in 2021.
As impossible to predict as relievers can be, there’s little to suggest Barnes could be anything more than an average arm. That’s perfectly fine if he’s slotted in a role to eat innings, mop-up in blowouts, and maybe occasionally step in when the rest of the relief corps is drained. But because of how the bullpen is shaping up, Barnes may get far more important innings than expected.
I’m still not sure exactly what to think of the Mets bullpen. Quite frankly, they didn’t do much this offseason to improve it. Trevor May could be good and Aaron Loup can potentially fill in as their number one lefty. They have their own questions marks as do many of the returning names.
All of these questions has left Barnes as a member of the 26-man roster with a chance to crack the Opening Day roster. Considering all of the additions they have made since him, I have a tough time believing he isn’t designated for assignment before the season begins.
Barnes is out of minor league options which leaves little wiggle room to continue their relationship. They could release and then re-sign him. This would serve a purpose for nothing more than to stash him in the minors for some depth.
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The Mets have plenty of that already. Take a look at any depth chart. They have more than enough arms at the Triple-A level with major league experience. If Barnes doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, chances are his Mets career is over before it begins.