C.J. Nitkowski is a man among boys these days. The 39-year-old left-hander is throwing the ball extremely well at Buffalo with his version 2.0 side-arm pitching motion. As he becomes more and more comfortable with his new delivery, he feels more and more confident that he will get back to the show, despite not having pitched there since 2005.
So far in 10.0 innings split between Binghamton and Buffalo, he has a record of 0-0, with a 0.00 ERA, and one save. He has allowed just seven hits and one unearned run while striking out 13 and walking six. Most significantly though is his presence on the mound. I have watched him pitch live and on TV about a half-dozen times this year and he just doesn’t belong in the minor leagues, he’s got the big league stamp for sure.
With Josh Edgin the sole south-paw in the Mets pen, and showing signs of burning out mentally, and after what transpired with poor Tim Byrdak, there is no question that a second lefty is mandatory for ANY major league bullpen. Nitkowski may be pitching his way into the perfect storm as far as his comeback goes.
In my mind he has shown he can pitch. At this point, he can audition for a big league job while in the big leagues. I don’t need to see him beating up on minor leaguers anymore, that thrill is gone. Let’s get this guy up to Citifield pronto, Mr. Alderson… Where we so desperately need him.