Mets may regret letting Chris Flexen go but for now we can’t blame them

Former New York Mets pitcher Chris Flexen tossed five shutout innings for the Seattle Mariners in his 2021 debut. A year after finding some success in the KBO during the 2020 season, Flexen managed to find a new home with the Mariners this offseason. Seattle took a chance on the 26-year-old on a low-cost deal which could pay off huge if he can put it all together.

Meanwhile, Mets fans watch on as another former member of this franchise finds success elsewhere. Success in sports, however, should be measured through far more than one game. Flexen was good in his debut. Even if he continues to pitch well, it’s hard to blame the Mets for letting him go.

Former Mets pitcher Chris Flexen might have gotten away but he was not performing while with the Amazins

Flexen logged 68 total innings for the Mets from 2017-2019. The result was a 3-11 record and 8.07 ERA. Pitching as both a starter and reliever, the results were far from outstanding.

I know 68 innings shouldn’t dismiss what a player may ultimately do. In the same way we shouldn’t get too upset over him having success in one start with the Mariners, sample size matters.

A look at Flexen’s minor league numbers and we see a fuller story. Flexen was 6-7 in 92 innings pitched down in Triple-A during the 2018 season. His ERA was a less-than-impressive 4.40.

One year later, Flexen was 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 78.2 innings of work. Again in Triple-A, he wasn’t exactly shouting for a promotion.

Still, despite the struggles at Triple-A, the Mets gave him some major league innings. Flexen couldn’t put it together. When he was released on December 11, 2019, there weren’t many tears shed.

Flexen may very well become a stud starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Mets fans could have more of a reason to cry foul when he continually pitchers at a high level and the thought of “what if” enters the minds of the Flushing Faithful.

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For now, Flexen is just a former Mets player whose future in the big leagues remains questionable. His first start was good. In his second, he could very well look more like the pitcher no one was distraught to see leave.