The New York Mets managed to make a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers in which they got pitcher Adrian Houser and outfielder Tyrone Taylor for minor league RHP Coleman Crow. In the trade, David Stearns manages to make a move with his former team in what appears to be salary relief for the Brewers.
The Mets managed to get two MLB players for a pitcher who had been placed for the Rule 5 draft but had gone unselected. In the move, Adrian Houser looks like an important figure to cover quality innings for the team, but what can the Mets expect from this pitcher?
Adrian Houser is more than a depth piece on the team
Although many have expressed that Adrian Houser is a depth piece on the team, he will likely be the 5th starter in the Mets rotation. Houser was a starting pitcher in 21 of the 23 games, in which he saw action in MLB last season, achieving a 4.12 ERA in 111.1 innings, striking out 96 batters with a WHIP of 1.39.
The Mets should know what to expect from the profile of a pitcher like Houser. He is a pitcher who will provide a relevant number of innings but with a low strikeout percentage. Indeed, Houser is a pitcher who depends a lot on the contact of his opponents but who, at the same time, takes advantage of being a ground ball specialist.
Due to having the sinker as his main pitch, which he throws at an average of 92.1 mph, he manages to induce around 47% of his hits allowed through the ground ball. However, the rest of his pitches have seen a greater propensity for fly balls than in previous seasons, which has significantly affected Houser's ERA due to an increase in his HR/9 ratio.
Because he is a contact-dependent pitcher, the Mets' defense will be tested with Houser. The team's infield will have a greater workload due to the high number of ground ball hits, while he will benefit from the dimensions of Citi Field to see a decrease in his home runs allowed.
Houser projects as a 5th or 6th starter, depending on how the Mets' rotation ends up constructed. The team can expect a 120-inning pitcher with an ERA around 4.50, which would be pretty good relative to his projected cost of just $5.6 million for 2023. Indeed, Houser is a smart move that provides innings security in a rotation with many questions.