Free agent signing check-in: Adam Ottavino is getting the job done

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

One of the big yet surprising additions the New York Mets made in free agency during the offseason was the addition of Adam Ottavino. The veteran reliever wasn’t exactly an obvious fit for the Mets given their far more dire need for a lefty in the bullpen.

After five appearances, Ottavino has remained unscathed. His ERA is where it was a day after the 2021 season ended: 0.00.

Mets reliever Adam Ottavino has been far from flawless yet continues to toss shutout innings

Ottavino ran into some trouble on Tuesday in game one of the doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants. Tasked to take over in the tenth inning with a runner on second base to begin the inning, a stretch by Pete Alonso on a Francisco Lindor throw helped keep the game tied at 4.

The Mets would end up winning the game in the bottom of the tenth, awarding Ottavino with his first Mets victory.

As a relief pitcher, wins are even less important than they are for a starter. But this performance was much bigger than a W on his stat sheet. Ottavino came up clutch for the Mets in a time of need.

The Mets bullpen has had its questions this year as just about every single team experiences each season. Seth Lugo has had his rocky outings. The same is true for Trevor May.

As the elder statesman of the relief corps, Ottavino has the experience that someone like Drew Smith may lack. Thus far, Buck Showalter has used him twice in the seventh inning in wins and in the ninth inning in a non-save situation as well as a loss. The tenth inning appearance for Ottavino on Tuesday fits in with the other ways Showalter is using him. He is getting the high-leverage situations he should.

Signed to a one-year deal worth $4 million, Ottavino is nearing the end of his career. Despite postseason trips with the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox, he has never gotten beyond a championship series. He made it there last year again with the Red Sox only to fall against the Houston Astros.

In what should be the twilight of his career, the New York-born reliever who once proclaimed he would strike out Babe Ruth every single time he faced him is much more soft-spoken with the Mets and practically flying under the radar in their bullpen. The season is young. So far, all is good with the Ottavino signing.

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