You’ve read and researched more about left-handed relievers this week than you have your entire life, eh New York Mets fan? The one missing piece to the roster continues to stare you in the face. In a world where we’re meant to judge people by the content of their hearts, here we are, concerned about the arm a man throws a ball with.
It’s a pretty big deal. Staring down Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Juan Soto regularly this season and late in games will put pressure on the Mets bullpen to get those left swingers out. The Mets did something light about it, signing old friend Chasen Shreve to a minor league deal.
You’ll remember Shreve from the 2020 season. Practically a clone of Jerry Blevins if you forgot your glasses, he’s actually coming off of a fine year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right now, mark him down as a favorite to make the Mets Opening Day roster.
Chasen Shreve appears to be the Mets lefty out of the bullpen this season
Last year’s 3.20 ERA in 56.1 innings of work was still not enough for Shreve to earn himself a major league contract. It’s the lack of overpowering abilities that has turned him into one of baseball’s journeymen relievers who will probably spend a lot of his baseball career bouncing around.
The Mets have two other new players they brought in to compete against Shreve. Alex Claudio, a guy with success in the past but the worst season of his career last season, joined the club as well. His eight seasons can be split into two halves. From 2014-2017, he was 9-4 with a 2.66 ERA. From 2018-2021, he’s 7-6 with a 4.50 ERA. Last year’s 5.51 ERA with the Los Angeles Angels forced him into a minor league deal this offseason, however, he is not too far from a league-leading 83 games pitched back in 2019 where he had a 4.06 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers.
You can try to spin it positively. After what we saw from Aaron Loup in 2021 and how many quality lefty free agents were out there, you’ll have a hard time convincing Mets fans this is enough.
Finally, there’s Mike Montgomery. The other veteran the team brought in, you may remember him from last spring. He ended up getting cut late and pitched poorly in limited action down in Triple-A for the New York Yankees.
It’s Shreve’s job to lose right now. Unless Billy Wagner comes walking through that door with a plan to teach a righty how to throw with their left hand, we’ll have to hope Shreve is enough.