Drew Smith Deserves To Be In That Mets Bullpen

In order to promote right-hander Chris Flexen to start Sunday against the Rays, the Mets chose to option rookie Drew Smith to the minors.

Smith, 24, was promoted last month after a strong campaign between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas where he registered a 2.88 ERA and a 4-1 record over 34.1 innings pitched.

However, he got into just three games for New York in his few weeks with the team, but held opponents to just one run over three innings.

Smith is still young and has minor league options, but the move came as a bit of a head scratcher.

Going into Sunday’s match up with the Rays, New York’s relief corps¬†were 5-14 with a 6.35 ERA (92 ER/130.1 IP) in their last 39 games (since May 25).

Flexen, who was called up for the start Sunday, was roughed up to the tune of five runs in three innings. The bullpen then had to pitch the final six frames in advance of a doubleheader Monday.

One of the relievers who pitched Sunday was Chris Beck, who was picked up off waivers from the Chicago White Sox earlier this year.

Beck, 27, has a 5.23 ERA in six games since joining the Mets, allowing six runs on 10 hits. This is coming off a 2017 season where he registered a 6.40 ERA and 6.84 FIP in 57 games, and a 2016 campaign where he had a 6.39 ERA and 5.36 FIP in 25 games.

The Mets are 16 games under .500. A pitcher like Chris Beck, who has struggled mightily in his career before joining the Mets and hasn’t looked good since playing for New York, shouldn’t have kept his roster spot over a guy like Smith who could be a solution for this bullpen in the future.

New York’s bullpen has been bad, as you can see from the figure above, and with them out of contention, it should be a priority to have the young guys up here and playing to see if they have something for next year and beyond.

It was nice to see Tyler Bashlor and Tim Peterson toss yesterday, but Smith should still be up here over someone like Beck.

Smith now can’t be recalled from Triple-A for 10 days unless there is an injury. He will likely be back up at some point this season, but this was just another questionable roster move New York has made this season.

About Rob Piersall 1079 Articles
Rob Piersall is a fourth-year student at SUNY New Paltz, studying journalism with a minor in communications. He is also the managing editor for his school's newspaper, The Oracle. A Mets fan since the age of six in 2001, Rob is senior editor here at MMO. His favorite thing is reporting breaking Mets news and transactions as well as writing columns. He is also ready to see what Mickey Callaway brings to the table in 2018. LGM! Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobPiersall.