When the Mets fell out of playoff contention last year and started to sell off their parts, Lucas Duda was the first domino to fall.
On July 27, 2017, New York shipped the veteran first baseman to the Tampa Bay Rays for right-handed pitching prospect Drew Smith.
Smith, 24, was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft, but was traded to Tampa Bay in April 2017 for outfielder Mikie Mahtook.
Despite being traded twice in the same year, Smith’s on-field performance didn’t waver. He started the year in High-A and even made it to Triple-A while in Tampa Bay’s system.
When he came over to the Mets, he spent the rest of the year with Double-A Binghamton, appearing in 11 games and logging a 3-2 record with a 1.80 ERA.
He began this year with Binghamton again, but quickly received a call-up to Triple-A Las Vegas, where he has been since.
With the 51s, he has pitched in 18 games and has a 2.77 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, and 9.0 K/9 in 26.0 innings tossed.
Smith tossed yet another scoreless inning last night for Vegas, and over his last 15 games (21 IP) he has allowed only three earned runs, which all came in a spot start, and has held opponents to a .545 OPS in that span.
Perhaps most impressive is that he has allowed just two home runs in his stint with Vegas, who play in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Smith has always been able to limit the long ball, and has given up just four home runs total in his time as a professional baseball player.
With that being said, the Mets should consider giving Smith a promotion to the big club.
Prior to Sunday where the relievers were flawless, in its previous 15 games, the Mets bullpen was 1-10 with a 6.99 ERA (43 earned runs/55.1 innings). Overall, the pen has 13 wins, tied for the sixth-most in the majors and 18 losses, the most in the majors. The pen’s overall ERA is 4.53, ranking 25th in the majors.
However, Mets starters have been on a tear.
Over its last 20 games, New York starters have a 2.47 ERA (31 earned runs/113.0 innings), the lowest in the majors during that span. Overall, the Mets are 10th in the majors with a 3.79 ERA from their starters.
With how mightily the pen has struggled, the team should consider Smith, who has been one of the strongest relievers in the system so far this season, and especially in recent games.
It would give them a fresh arm and potentially someone who could provide some stability after the starters hand the ball off to the bullpen.