Like last year, the Mets acquired Addison Reed right before the August 31st trade deadline. He quickly assumed the seventh inning role for a pennant winner last year. This year, he has taken over the eighth inning, and he has been as good a setup man as there is in baseball.
The problem is Reed and most of the Mets bullpen is fatigued. With that in mind, enter Fernando Salas.
Salas mostly relies on his fastball, change up, and a knuckle curveball. He has a slider he uses very infrequently, but when he does throw it, it has proven to be an effective pitch. Given the pitching philosophy of his new team and pitching coach, that may change.
Like Reed last year, Salas has struggled for the most part this year. For the season, Salas has a 4.47 ERA, 1.260 WHIP, and a 7.2 K/9. Each of these stats are among the worst in his career.
However, it should be noted Salas has pitched much better of late. After a nightmare June and a bad July, he’s a much better pitcher in August. Batters are only hitting .211/.286/.368 against him this month. He had a 3.48 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9. It’s part of the reason he had taken over as the Angels closer.
For what it’s worth, his postseason numbers are a mixed bag. In his postseason career, he is 0-1 with a 3.54 ERA and a 0.984 WHIP in 18 games. Those stats are actually elevated as he had one bad inning in the 2011 World Series. Speaking of the 2011 World Series, Salas does bring championship experience.
Overall, Salas is a pitcher who should help the Mets. He should give pitchers like Reed rest, and before the season is over, he may very well lock down the seventh inning.