3 Mets players who will be better in 2024, 2 who will be worse

Who goes up and who goes down?

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Jake Diekman will be much more average than his time with Tampa Bay

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks unless of course you’re a member of the Tampa Bay Rays coaching staff. Pitching at age 36 last year, Jake Diekman had an incredible output as a member of the Rays. In 45.1 innings he was 0-1 with a 2.18 ERA. Still wild and not near his best strikeout rate, Diekman relied heavily on soft contact. A hard hit percentage of only 26% helped highlight his success.

Relievers like Diekman are impossible to predict. His lifetime 3.82 ERA comes from several extremes. His time with the Chicago White Sox resulted in a 7.04 ERA in 30.2 innings spanning parts of two seasons. The peak of his career, spent with the Texas Rangers, awarded him with a 3.18 ERA in 124.1 innings of work.

Which version do the Mets get?

Other than his stint with the Rays last year, Diekman hasn’t had a full season with an ERA below his career total since 2018. An ERA in the 4.00s wouldn’t be outrageous to expect from him. Despite the brilliance at preventing runs last year, he did still walk 5 batters per 9 during his time in Tampa Bay.

Diekman will be a good number two lefty in the bullpen. He’s not going to be like Aaron Loup in 2021.