1 underrated Mets player who hasn't been as bad as advertised

Mychal Givens, despite a first disaster outing, has actually been a really good pitcher for the Mets since the trade deadline.
Mychal Givens, despite a first disaster outing, has actually been a really good pitcher for the Mets since the trade deadline. / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

At the trade deadline, New York Mets fans wanted the team to do more to address the bullpen. They probably should have.

So, when only one addition was made and then that one addition struggled out of the gates, fans were up in arms that the team didn’t do more to address the bullpen. But now that the dust has settled, it’s time to take a step back and recognize that much of the anger isn’t warranted.

Mychal Givens has actually been pretty good with the Mets, despite the narrative being pushed.

Yes. He started off REALLY bad. His first appearance was a nightmare, giving up five earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning — including two long balls.

That’s the definition of starting off on the wrong foot. 

However, since that first outing, Givens has been good. Over 16 games and 19.0 innings since that first game, he’s given up just six earned runs — good for a 2.84 ERA. He has 20 strikeouts in those innings to just six walks and has given just one home run after giving up two in that very first outing.

He’s been even better as of late, not giving up an earned run in his last seven appearances. In four of them he worked multiple innings, which is really valuable. 

Yes, he’s not being used in many high-leverage situations, but the Mets already have those relievers: Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo. Givens is still producing whenever he’s in the game.

This is the tricky thing with him. It’s easy to go to his baseball-reference page and see his Mets ERA, which is still over five, and write him off as bad. But it’s just not reflective of the value he’s actually brought to the team.

With relief pitchers, one bad outing can run your ERA. They just don’t pitch enough innings to offset a disaster game, like the one Givens had to open up his Mets career.

Sure, he hasn’t been perfect even since that first outing, but no pitcher is. Overall, he’s been pretty good since the Mets traded for him.

It’s best to look at that first game as an outlier. When included in the data set, it’s going to throw off the average. That’s not to say it didn’t happen, it did, but it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s in the past. And hey, the Mets won that game anyway, so it’s time to move on. 

His Mets ERA is never going to look good. Five earned runs in two-thirds of an inning will do that, especially when he’s only on the team for two months of the season. Fans are just going to have to look past it and see that he has actually been a good pitcher and a good deadline acquisition.

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