Who knew Aaron Loup was going to be as great for the New York Mets as he was last year? Fess up. You didn’t predict a 0.95 ERA.
This year, Loup will look to repeat his tremendous 2021 season with the Los Angeles Angels. The Mets will have to hope the under-the-radar signing of Chasen Shreve pays off in its own way.
Shreve is actually coming off of a pretty good year with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. His 3.20 ERA in 56.1 innings of work was good but not dominating. Not a high-leverage reliever to dominant with the strikeout, steady Mets defense behind him could turn Shreve into the team’s steal of the offseason.
The Mets don’t need Chasen Shreve to be Aaron Loup but some magic would be nice
Before there was Loup, Justin Wilson had a nice stint with the Mets. Remember him? In 2019, he gave the Mets a 2.54 ERA performance in 39 innings. In 2020, he returned with 19.2 innings of work and a 3.66 ERA.
Wilson left the Mets at the end of the year with a 2.91 ERA in 58.2 total innings. Like Shreve, he has also pitched for the Pirates and New York Yankees. The two are, however, quite different.
Shreve is your typical softer-tossing southpaw. His 4-seam fastball averaged 91.6 miles per hour last year. Also in his arsenal are an 82.9mph split finger and 81.4mph slider based on last year’s averages.
Built like Jerry Blevins, Shreve’s exact purpose on the Mets will closely resemble what was expected of Blevins. Shreve is only on the Mets to get the occasional lefty out. Last year, they batted .200/289/.344 against him. For his career, they’ve slashed .222/.319/.405 in 482 opportunities.
In a time when every reliever seems to be gunning with their fastest pitch for outs, Shreve will need to hope that he’s different enough from the norm for success. Perhaps one reason why Loup was so good last year was his unorthodox delivery. Pitchers are creatures of habit and so are hitters. When you start delivering from a different angle or speed, the rhythm is disrupted.
Shreve comes into this season with a lot of pressure on him but it’s the good kind of pressure. Because Mets fans are fresh off of seeing Loup’s 2021 performance, he cannot possibly measure up. Shreve signed with the team with hopes of making the Opening Day roster. He accomplished the goal by pitching well in the preseason. One goal down, a bunch more to go.