Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Reed About It


I feel like so far this season, the storylines for the Mets have been more about things that haven't worked out. Inciting a brawl against Rhys Hoskins. Kodai Senga going from Opening Day starter to missing a large portion of the season. Missing out on Yamamoto. Getting J.D. Martinez and needing to wait for him to rehab from an injury. Trying to cheer Francisco Lindor on to encourage him to hit better. Alvarez, Megill and Raley all getting injured despite great starts. 

The Mets were 12-8 on April 20th, and are now 17-18. And in a year where it's already going to be very tough to remain relevant in the NL East, considering the power of both the Braves and Phillies, they're gonna need some positive publicity to get through the rest of the season. And considering the Phils will be in town soon, they're gonna need it pronto.

So for now, here's Reed Garrett. The guy who tanked in the majors as a rookie, became a successful reliever in Japan, then tanked in the majors for the past two seasons, stayed with the Mets out of necessity, and now has a 0.50 ERA in 18 innings. There's something the whole family can get behind.

It's a fascinating development because a lot of the bullpen assets the Mets put stock in going into 2024 haven't given them what they're asking for. Brooks Raley got injured immediately, so there goes a big bullpen asset from last year. Adam Ottavino's doing decently but he's 38. It's people like Jorge Lopez and Reed Garrett, guys everybody kinda gave up on, who are the most consistent bullpen people. Garrett has 30 strikeouts, which is more than two starters. One of them was the Opening Day starter. Garrett also has as many wins, 5, as the entire starting rotation combined. Meaning one 31-year-old reliever who only spent fractions of 2023 on a roster, is more valuable to this team than Jose Quintana, Luis Severino or Sean Manaea, three pitchers that seemed invaluable at different points in their career.

The Mets, I think, are just finding victories where they can. Their top starter this year is Jose Butto, that was never the intention but they're pleased with him. They nearly got a no-hitter from Luis Severino last week, they're just happy he can still throw smoke. Tyrone Taylor's hitting .288 off the bench, so the Houser trade wasn't for nothing. Baty, Vientos and Christian Scott can all perform in the majors, so that's good for the future. And Lindor's at least heating up a little. 

The Mets have the capacity to get better, and the depth to make something happen, but it's not clear what it will take, or who's going to be the person to jumpstart things. As for Garrett...if he keeps at it he might get to pitch for a team that appreciates him more than just being a fun story.

Coming Tonight: A sturdy starter for a team that recently went on an absolute tear when no one expected it.

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