With trade deadline rumors swirling around baseball with 20 days until the trade deadline, the New York Mets are very much shopping for help where they can find it, and they could use more depth in their bullpen, which has been battle-tested.
But there is one reliever from the Detroit Tigers that the Mets have been linked to in previous deadline rumors that would immediately be placed in Buck Showalter’s circle of trust in late inning situations to bridge games to Edwin Diaz, and that would be Joe Jimenez.
Joe Jimenez of the Detroit Tigers would lengthen the Mets bullpen
As bad as the Tigers have been this season, they have one of the best bullpens in the league this season, ranking third of 30 clubs with a collective reliever ERA of 3.05, trailing only the American League powerhouses in the Astros and the Yankees, and Jimenez is a big reason why (The Mets are ranked 10th by the way entering play on Tuesday).
Jimenez has finally cut down on the walks and hits this season, and that can be attributed to manager A.J. Hinch and pitching coach Chris Fetter, who appeared to have cracked the code this offseason on him by helping him improve his control. And the results have been devastating to opposing hitters as all of his Statcast rankings are above average.
Jimenez has averaged 11.9 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine innings this season (it was 6.9 walks per nine innings last year), has a FIP mark of 2.27 and an ERA of 2.97 in 33.1 innings pitched. His 6.29 strikeout to walk ratio is 11th best among 173 qualified relievers (it's even better than that of Edwin Diaz). And in his last 10 outings, he has given up zero earned runs in 10 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts.
The 27-year-old righty and 2018 All-Star can attribute a change in mechanics and an increase in velocity to his success. His fastball velocity is the highest in his career at 95.6 mph while his average changeup speed is over 90 mph for the first time. Jimenez would certainly benefit also from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who has done a great job with his pitchers this season in the wake of the injuries to their co-aces.
Jimenez has one year left of arbitration after this season, so he will become a free agent after the 2023 season. With Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, and Seth Lugo set to become free agents following this season, having some stability and certainty in the bullpen for next season would be huge.