As the Mets season began to spiral out of control, the Mets front office initiated a youth movement of the bullpen.
Last season’s trades of Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Lucas Duda, and Curtis Granderson brought a plethora of arms, all of which were relievers. Many of those young bullpen pieces have been showcased this season with successes and failures.
Zamora, 25, is a former 40th-round draft pick out of Stony Brook University that has found success with a single pitch; his slider. According to Statcast, 86.4% of Zamora’s pitches through his six big-league appearances have been sliders.
As of August 28th, Zamora has thrown 57 sliders and has only given up 3 hits to his 13 batters faced. At an average velocity of 78.7 MPH, his slider is way slower than the sliders of starters Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz; however, Zamora has recorded five strikeouts and only one barrelled ball with his slider through his 4.1 IP.
Asides from a solo home run by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the eighth inning of Monday’s game, Zamora hasn’t succumbed to the pressure of late-inning situations. During his first ten days in the majors, Zamora has been spotless during appearances in the 7th, 9th, and 10th innings.
While it’s been a brief period of time, Zamora has displayed the ability to find success with a singular pitch, a la Jerry Blevins and his curveball.
With Blevins becoming a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, it’s quite possible that Daniel Zamora could succeed Blevins as the next effective LOOGY in the Mets 2019 bullpen.