Tip your cap with one hand and throw up a high-five with the other toward Trevor Williams. The New York Mets pitcher has found his niche this season as a long man out of the bullpen and occasional starter.
What he has done is nothing new to baseball. It’s actually more of a blast from the past. Relievers were regularly entering the game with the purpose of securing more than three outs. Things changed but Williams is bringing the multi-inning reliever back with a twist: he can also start on short notice.
The specialization of relief pitchers might have some fans yelling at clouds. With Williams, the Mets have stumbled on a necessary role they should look to have moving forward.
The Mets have benefitted greatly this season from having Trevor Williams wear many hats
Who could have imagined that this below-average starting pitcher could come to the Mets and be so magical? It began in 2021 when he joined the club for the final two months and continued with even more success in 2022.
A starter moving to the bullpen and succeeding is nothing new. The impressiveness of Williams is how he has swayed back and forth all season. In whatever role he has been asked to take on, he has been a solid member of this year’s ball club even when the job is to simply eat up some innings and get the game over with as quickly as possible.
A free agent after this season, a reunion would be great but who’s to say he’d have as much success in the future? Williams has pitched well enough in this role for other teams to have interest in possibly even converting him back to a starter or paying him more than the average long man out of the bullpen.
The Mets will have an opportunity to explore some replacements in the offseason from outside and even within the organization. From what we have seen this year, it looks to be an essential role to fill.