Jeff Brigham becomes an Opening Day roster option due to piling of injuries

Feb 25, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA;  New York Mets relief pitcher Jeff Brigham (43) pitches
Feb 25, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeff Brigham (43) pitches / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Brigham has been the overlooked player in the Miami Marlins trade which also netted the New York Mets another guy, Elieser Hernandez. Because Hernandez is viewed as a starter/reliever hybrid and Brigham is just your average relief pitcher, he hasn’t gotten much attention. He was barely considered a realistic competitor in the early spring bullpen competitions.

Brigham is actually coming off of a solid 2022 season featuring a 3.38 ERA in 24 innings of work. He struck out more than a batter per inning while not looking like the most dominant of relievers.

Several injuries to the Mets relievers could push Brigham from a consideration to a definitive on the Opening Day roster. He has been overshadowed by other arms this spring but could be an optional guy the team carries with them to face his former Marlins club on March 30.

Jeff Brigham is one of the last bullpen options for the NY Mets Opening Day roster

Through 5 innings, Brigham has allowed a pair of runs but only 2 hits. He has held batters to a .118 average this spring. Nothing about his performance demands he make the Opening Day roster. Due to limited options, it’s a possibility he gets a spot. The Mets currently have relievers Edwin Diaz, Sam Coonrod, and Bryce Montes de Oca sidelined. The only healthy pitcher, if we remove Stephen Ridings who has yet to pitch this spring, we’re left with just Brigham among those without an expectation of the Opening Day roster spot.

Brigham doesn’t have the same upside as someone like John Curtiss or the youth of some other contenders for the Opening Day roster. Prior to last season, who outside of die-hard Marlins fan(s) would even know his name?

As part of the huge influx of relievers the team brought in this offseason to compete for a job, being one of the healthy ones near the end of spring training has benefitted Brigham. He may not be bound for the Opening Day roster necessarily, but he’s clearly the next in line to replace an injured teammate.

Brigham’s two biggest competitors at the moment would be Tommy Hunter and Jimmy Yacabonis. Each has performed well this spring and with the Diaz roster spot open, the Mets can afford to have a non-optional reliever around. Hunter should be viewed as the favorite. He has proven himself in the orange and blue a few times already. He has staying power.

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