1 Mets trade deadline deal looking more disgusting this season

Wouldn't it be nice to have a controllable homegrown reliever like this?
Pittsburgh Pirates v Kansas City Royals
Pittsburgh Pirates v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Avert your eyes, children. If you haven’t checked up on what 2022 trade deadline casualty Colin Holderman is up to, you’re in for a fright. Sent to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a controversial trade by the New York Mets for Daniel Vogelbach, the only reason we don’t stay up at night sweating more is because Billy Eppler sent four players to the San Francisco Giants for Darin Ruf.

Holderman was one of the better relievers on the 2022 Mets, pitching to a 2.04 ERA in 17.2 innings. Their need for a DH outweighed his potential. So when he posted a 6.75 ERA in 10.2 innings for Pittsburgh to end the year, it didn’t look like the worst of moves. Vogelbach was pretty good at the end of 2022. It wasn’t until 2023 when he became truly burdensome.

What has Holderman been up to since? A solid 2023 season which included 56 innings and a 3.86 ERA doesn’t compare to how low it has gotten right now.

Former Mets reliever Colin Holderman is at his absolute best right now

The sample size of 16.1 innings is minimal but with 1 earned run through it, it’s hard to have some jealousy toward the 0.55 ERA. Averaging 12.1 strikeouts per 9 along the way as well with a 0.98 WHIP and just 4.4 hits per 9, Holderman is confirming what Mets fans already knew nearly two years ago: there’s something there with this kid.

Holderman was never a big time Mets prospect. Drafted in the 9th round in 2016, the organization turned him from a reliever into a starter before moving him back to the bullpen again.

The Pirates are finding Holderman to be a more than satisfying setup man. He spent most of the first month pitching in the seventh inning with a more regular transition to the eighth. Former Mets dream trade candidate David Bednar has been a bit of a mess as the team’s closer this year. Could Holderman potentially take the job in the future? 

It’s not always easy to keep tabs on former Mets, in particular relievers who played in less than 20 innings. When we look back at the 2022 trade deadline moves, the Ruf trade was awful for what he did. In this instance, the Vogelbach for Holderman deal gets more disgusting because of what the latter continues to do. This is why the Mets have had trouble building homegrown relievers. The few they do have end up excelling somewhere else.