Last week, I introduced you to part 1 of the New York Mets all-obscure team which focused on the starting lineup and bench players.
Now I will look at the obscure pitchers that conjured up memories for me (good and bad) as well as ones that were mentioned numerous times on Twitter last week during the discussion.
I needed criteria for the article so I decided on less than 100 games and 250 innings with the Mets. Also tried to limit myself to players no longer active and leave guys off that had strong major league careers like. Reminder that I was born in 1987 meaning the team will have some recency bias.
Here are the starting pitchers:
- RHP: Brian Bannister – The Mets seventh round pick in 2003 made his major league debut on April 5, 2006 with a quality start against the Nationals. Over his next three starts he allowed only three earned runs in 17 innings. Unfortunately, he hurt his hamstring on April 26 and got roughed up in his next two starts. He was traded that offseason for Ambiroix Burgos from the Royals. He finished his Mets career going 4-for-12 with three doubles at the plate. He’s now the vice president of pitching development for the Red Sox.
- RHP: Brandon Knight – Knight pitched in four games (two starts) for the Mets in 2008 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings. The Mets signed him out of Indy ball and he hadn’t pitched in five seasons at the big league until his Mets debut. He spent time in the Japanese league before the Mets signed him and the Korean league after they released him in 2009.
- RHP: Dennis Springer – Knuckleballer that didn’t wquite work out the way R.A. Dickey would later. Springer made two starts in 2000 and allowed 11 runs in 11.1 innings. The next season he gave up Barry Bonds record 73rd homer.
- RHP: Jeremy Hefner – Sad that arm injuries put him on this list after showing some promise during a really good stretch in 2013 when he went 10 starts without allowing more than three earned runs in a game. He finished the 2013 season with a 4.34 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 130.2 innings. Tommy John surgery ended his season in August and he was non-tendered that offseason. He had to have another TJS the next season and retired in 2017. He now works for the Twins as an advanced scout.
- RHP: Mike Birkbeck – He allowed seven runs in seven innings in his lone Mets start in 1992. He would return to the Mets organization in 1995 to much different results, he posted a 1.63 ERA in 27.2 innings over four starts. The Mets then sold his contract to the Yokohama BayStars in the Japanese League.
Tons of guys I could put in the bullpen here:
- RHP: Tobi Stoner – One of the better names in Mets history was also a rare German born major leaguer. He posted a 3.97 ERA in fives games between 2009 and 2010. He was released by the Mets in 2012 and went on to pitch in two seasons of Indy ball.
- RHP: Orber Moreno – After a rough debut in 2003 (7.88 ERA), the righty had sneaky nice season for the Mets in 34.2 innings the next season with a 3.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He would never pitch in the majors ago though he continued to pitch professionally through 2013.
- LHP: Dae-Sung Koo – His legendary inning against the Randy Johnson and the Yankees back on May 21, 2005. Unfortunately for him, he suffered a shoulder injury on the play. He finished the season as a 35-year-old rookie with a 3.93 ERA in 23 innings.
- LHP: Vinegar Bend Mizell – No, Vinegar Bend was not his given first name. Wilmer David got the nickname from his hometown of Vinegar Bend, Alabama. He pitched in nine big league season though his time with the Mets was forgettable, his last season in the bigs and finished with a 7.34 ERA in 38 innings. He walked 25 and struck out 15 during that span. The Mets released him in 1962 and seven years later he would become a U.S. congressman.
- LHP: Garrett Olson – The lefty is the proud owner of the highest ERA in Mets franchise history at 108.00. He allowed four runs in one third of an inning for the Mets in 2012 and would never pitch in the big leagues again.
- RHP: Satoru Komiyama – He made his major league debut at 36-years old with the Mets in 2002. He posted a 5.61 ERA over 43.1 innings in his lone season with the Mets. He returned to pitch in Japan in 2004 and continued to do so professionally until he was 43-years old.
- LHP: Pedro Martinez – Nope, not that Pedro, this is the left-handed version. He was traded to the Mets by the Padres in 1995 for Jeff Barry. He would pitch to a 6.43 ERA in five big league games for the Mets before being claimed off waivers by the Reds in September of 1996.
This one was tough with a large number of players like Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo and Livan Hernandez that had productive MLB careers but spent a brief time with the Mets, though I decide to go more obscure with the pitchers in-general.