With many of the big relievers off the market, Jerry Blevins is left in a great position. At 33 years old, the lefty might just get the three year deal he’s been asking for. It remains to be seen, however, if the Mets will be the team that gives it to him as Sandy Alderson essentially abhors multi-year deals for relievers.
As of right now, the Mets have lefties Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin on their roster. It is a common notion that one puts in lefty pitchers to face lefty hitters, however in some cases, righties can be just as if not more effective. Below are 2016 splits of three Mets relievers against lefties:
Player A: .360/.448/.600 – 25 AB, 2 HR, 3 BB
Player B: .179/.287/.299 – 117 AB, 2 HR, 18 BB
Player C: .235/.300/.235 – 17 AB, 0 HR, 2 BB
If you guessed that Player B was righty Hansel Robles, you were right. Obviously the sample sizes for Edgin and Smoker are small, however the 135 plate appearances lefty batters had against Robles is a large enough sample size to say that he is effective against them.
Robles is as streaky a pitcher as Lucas Duda is a hitter. After posting a 1.69 ERA in April, he followed it up with a 5.11 ERA in May and 2.93 in June. He then didn’t allow an earned run in 11.2 July innings before posting a 9.00 ERA in 15 August innings. He then finished the year with a 0.75 ERA in 12 September innings (0 ER in 0.2 October innings).
The facts remain that he is young, cheap, and has a very powerful arm with a good slider and a developing changeup. He has shown flashes of greatness and it is entirely possible that he emerges as a go-to reliever in 2017. If the Mets do not bring back Jerry Blevins, which seems like what will happen, the Mets must also realize that Robles is a viable option against lefties if Edgin and/or Smoker can’t get it done.