2) NY Mets reliever Stephen Ridings has a lot riding on his 2023 performance
Stephen Ridings has a pair of minor league options left which is one of the big reasons why the Mets couldn’t resist snagging him off the waiver wire from the New York Yankees. His minor league numbers have been limited despite making his professional debut back in 2017 with the Chicago Cubs organization. A full-time switch to the bullpen in 2021 did him wonders. Ridings was 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in 29 innings of work. He gave up 1 run in his 5 innings in the majors, too.
Control hasn’t been a huge problem for Ridings since his first year. He struck out batters at a rate of 13 per 9 in 2021 while walking them at a rate of 1.2 per 9. The 2022 season was almost a complete wash as he spent all but 2 minor league innings rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery.
Already 27, he’s another tall righty who throws hard and has a history of sending minor league batters back to the bench with their tails between their legs. He’s another perfect candidate to begin the year in Triple-A. If the Mets do keep their Rule 5 pick Zach Greene and out of options reliever Stephen Nogosek, they can wait until one of them becomes too much of a burden before promoting Ridings. He does have something to prove. His spring training performance is only the start.