2024 Mets outlook: Adam Ottavino expectations and predictions

Adam Ottavino is back as the setup man, but in order to dominate again, he must fix three things that plagued him... and the Mets... in 2023.

Adam Ottavino (No. 0) looks to turn in another solid season for the Mets in 2024.
Adam Ottavino (No. 0) looks to turn in another solid season for the Mets in 2024. / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

Adam Ottavino, for some reason, found his way back to the orange and blue. The New York Mets had to figure out how to build a bridge to Edwin Diaz this offseason given their pitching mess. They answered that by bringing back the man who was the bridge himself, now aged 38 and entering his 14th season in the majors.

For Ottavino, an offseason in which his pitching future had major questions ended by returning to the team in which he declined a player option with at the start due to uncertainty with the Mets' plan themselves. The Mets brought back their setup man from the last two seasons on a 1-year, $4.5 million after Ottavino declined a $6.75 million option thinking his run of success with the Mets would net him a two-year deal elsewhere.

Ottavino registered an ERA+ of 188 in 2022, but only a mark of 132 (still excellent) in 2023. So what does Ottavino need to improve on to be one of the best setup guys in baseball and what should Mets fans expect from Ottavino in 2024?

Adam Ottavino's season will be judged by his control, how he handles clutch situations, and he prevents basestealing.

The biggest concern about Ottavino has always been the control issues. He had a walk rate greater than 10 percent in each of the five seasons prior to joining the Mets. As a Met, he was sensational in 2022, as the walk rate dipped to just 6.2 percent in 2022 (and a nearly 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio). But the walk rate then jumped back up to 11.1 percent in 2023. Perhaps it was the downtick in velocity throughout his whole arsenal that led the walk rate to nearly double last year.

You can also look to his ineffectiveness in high leverage situations, when the games mattered. Opponents had an OPS of 1.017 against him in those spots, which was why his record was 1-7. Six of the seven home runs he gave up last year came in high leverage situations too. If Ottavino can improve on holding in crunch time and handing the ball to Edwin Diaz with a lead, the Mets outlook will be different in 2024.

Then, what about Ottavino holding runners on base? That wasn't good in 2023, either. He gave up 22 stolen bases on 23 attempts. He said recently one of his goals in 2024 was an improved pickoff move. How that will work out remains to be seen.

But still, he has effective and quality stuff throughout, and he showed it off during the last three months of the season, where he pitched to a 2.17 ERA from July 1 onward. He also induced soft contact as he always does, and we're looking forward to seeing his stuff fool hitters throughout the 2024 season.

2024 stat predictions: 3.40 ERA, 60 IP, 65 K, 1.17 WHIP, 3-3 record