After nearly two months of unsuccessfully shuffling their stable of aging, veteran relievers, the Mets have finally decided to shake-up the roster, taking a big step towards the future.
Hours after demoting Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen and calling-up phenom pitching prospect Rafael Montero to start Wednesday night against the crosstown rival Yankees, the Mets placed reliever Gonzalez Germen on the DL, and called up Jacob deGrom, a far less touted but highly intriguing prospect, from AAA-Las Vegas.
In two months in the minors, deGrom compiled a 4-0 record, to go along with a sparkling 2.58 ERA, while striking out 29. deGrom excelled against right-handed batters, holding them to an average of .268 with a stellar 1.23 ERA.
deGrom will provide a much needed youthful presence to an aging Mets bullpen that has struggled to a 3.88 ERA this year, good for 16th in the MLB. With sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton, Jayson Werth and the Upton brothers being common opponents, the Mets are in desperate need of a reliable right-handed reliever, particularly in the late innings.
This is a move that had to be made. The combination of Valverde and Farnsworth was becoming a major detriment to a team that has, for the most part, performed very well early in the season. Ever since losing in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006, the Mets have urged fans to exercise patience and wait for the future. Well, the future is now, and I’m anxious to see what the future holds.
In a corresponding move, Gonzalez Germen was placed on the DL retroactive to May 6th with a stomach virus, meaning he is eligible to come back in a week. Should deGrom succeed, another move will need to be made, as Germen is another young arm who, relative to the rest of the bullpen, has fared well this season, posting a respectable 3.57 ERA. Farnsworth and Valverde should be put on alert.
deGrom will wear #48, according to the Mets game notes, the same number he wore in Las Vegas. Mets fans are hoping that this #48 has a little more success than his predecessor, Frank Francisco, a former Mets right-handed reliever who most Mets fans have chosen to forget.