One of the bolder claims a major leaguer has made in recent seasons came directly from the mouth of relief pitcher Adam Ottavino, a new addition to the New York Mets roster. He boasted that he would strike out the great Babe Ruth every time he faced him.
Hamilton Porter would 100% have a heart attack upon hearing this.
The claim, which hasn’t been lost to baseball fans, will hang around Ottavino for the rest of his life. True or not (Ruth did strike out a lot), the new Mets reliever won’t need to take on the Great Bambino in order to have success in Flushing.
What Mets fans can expect from Adam Ottavino in 2022
The one-year deal worth $4 million came as a surprise to many Mets fans who were still digesting the Chris Bassitt trade. While many of us were curious as to which lefty reliever the Mets would sign in free agency, the team snuck up and added a right-handed reliever.
Ottavino, a New York native, spent most of his career with the Colorado Rockies where he actually pitched well—something not many can claim. He joined the New York Yankees for two seasons in 2019 and 2020 where he put together two completely different campaigns. Ottavino had a 1.90 ERA in 2019 and a 5.89 ERA in the shortened 2020 campaign. Throwing strikes has been an issue for him but he has also been striking out batters at a terrific rate even before it became trendy.
For the Mets, Ottavino fills in as a replacement to Jeurys Familia who departed for the Philadelphia Phillies. Familia’s role was rather undefined last year with a lot of his big innings coming only when the rest of the relievers were unavailable. Ottavino does have good experience. On the upside, he could be as good as a reliable setup man for the club in 2022.
On the downside, Ottavino is a sixth-inning “stop the bleeding” type of reliever. He may not look brilliant. He can, at the very least, keep the game from getting out of hand.
Like it or not, the Ottavino move will improve the Mets’ chances. Even if he’s the last guy in the line to get the ball from the bullpen, he’s an improvement over some of the other question marks vying for a 26-man roster spot.