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NY Mets: How to best use Sean Reid-Foley going forward

May 3, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Sean Reid-Foley (61) reads the signs prior to a pitch during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 3, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Sean Reid-Foley (61) reads the signs prior to a pitch during the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Mets are in first place in the NL East, as was expected heading into the 2021 season. Barring a total collapse, it looks like they’ll win the division and head back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

The Mets have done many things well, but their pitchers have been the beaus of the ball, both starters and relievers. His overall numbers might not show it, but Sean Reid-Foley is absolutely on the list.

The question has become: how should the Mets use the versatile hurler?

Reid-Foley was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during this past offseason as part of a package deal the Mets received in exchange for Steven Matz. Reid-Foley has been an interesting player for the Mets since. He’s been up and down between the minors and majors, something that the fans didn’t like to see.

Out of context, Reid-Foley’s numbers aren’t particularly impressive: 20.2 IP, 11.32 K/9, 3.92 BB/9, .352 BABIP, 35.7 GB% (career-low), 5.23 ERA (career-high), 3.53 xERA, 3.84 FIP, 3.76 xFIP, and 0.1 WAR.

However, these numbers are inflated because of two disastrous outings.

Reid-Foley gave up five earned runs on five hits, one walk, and two home runs in 1.2 innings on June 19th against the Washington Nationals and then three earned runs on four hits and one walk in 0.1 innings in his most recent outing on June 30th against the Atlanta Braves.

If you omit those two outings, Reid-Foley has a 1.98 ERA and has given up just one home run. That’s obviously excellent. Even factoring in those appearances, his BB/9, FIP, and xFIP are all career-bests for him.

With that being said, what should the Mets do with him moving forward? The answer is actually quite simple now that the injury bug is back.

Although the bullpen has been fantastic, the Mets don’t have many relievers who are capable of pitching multiple innings. Robert Gsellman is out 6-8 weeks with a right lat strain and Corey Oswalt is on the 10-day IL with right knee inflammation. Reid-Foley is on the 10-day IL, as well, with elbow inflammation, but he, Seth Lugo, and Tylor Megill will likely be the main contenders to provide long relief post-All-Star Break.

Megill, however, has been very impressive and could end up filling Joey Lucchesi’s shoes as a starter, especially until Carlos Carrasco and/or Noah Syndergaard make their long-awaited season debuts.

The best way for the Mets to use Reid-Foley is how they used Gsellman. Along with Lugo, Reid-Foley should become their go-to guy when they need a reliever to go multiple innings. Gsellman also started a game for the Mets this season, something Reid-Foley is capable of doing if they need him to.

Reid-Foley has become an important player for the Mets and a valuable piece in their bullpen. His two rough outings might be discouraging, but he’s been pretty elite otherwise. The Mets might have seriously gotten a gem from Toronto and must continue to give Reid-Foley opportunities.

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He really shouldn’t be demoted again and should be used often by the Mets, especially as they look to make do with what they have while some of their big-name hurlers are recovering from injuries.

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