The New York Mets made some big upgrades this offseason, but a couple of moves they made were more lateral or possibly tiny downgrades or even minimal upgrades. That’s a debate for a different day. Today, it’s all about filling big cleats.
These big cleats left empty by free agency are larger than the size 14s Buck Showalter claims to wear. It’s these three newcomers to the organization with the biggest ones to fill.
1) NY Mets pitcher Elieser Hernandez has Trevor Williams’ cleats to fill
Elieser Hernandez may not end up as the direct replacement for Trevor Williams. The Mets have a healthy Joey Lucchesi to help fill the long-man out of the bullpen role. The same could eventually be said for Tylor Megill or David Peterson. Hernandez does seem like one of the more natural fits to be a bullpen arm while two or all three of those others hang around in Triple-A waiting to start a game in the big leagues.
Williams was amazing for the Mets last season in a unique hybrid role. He started 9 games and made 21 relief appearances. In those 89.2 innings, Williams was 3-5 with a 3.21 ERA. The ability to go multiple innings and start a game one week and pitch in relief the next made him a nice weapon to have.
Nobody should expect Hernandez or anyone else to be as reliable as Williams was in 2022. In fact, it’s not something he would probably be able to replicate again.
Now a member of the Washington Nationals where he’ll get to start, it’s Hernandez’s job to try and place his feet into a pair of cleats left by an unexpected hero from the 2022 season.