Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

The Mets Have Finalized the Bullpen to Begin the Season

Anchored by a trio of solid veterans, the New York Mets bullpen has a chance to be one of the better units in Major League Baseball this season. President of baseball operations David Stearns brought in multiple arms to help ensure up the middle innings and low-leverage situations. While some of those new additions were locks to make the team, New York entered spring with a couple of roles up for grabs.

On Thursday, reporters, like Anthony DiComo of MLB, revealed that Michael Tonkin and Yohan Ramírez earned the final two spots in the Mets bullpen. A third finalist for the job, Sean Reid-Foley, will start the season on the injured list with a shoulder impingement.

All three players are on the Mets 40-man roster. Reid-Foley’s IL placement will prevent New York from removing one of the trio from the roster and risk losing them to another organization.

This news comes a few days after the Mets released veteran reliever Phil Bickford, perhaps one of the favorites to earn a bullpen spot when Spring Training started. The Mets will roll out their revamped bullpen on Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers after rain postponed Thursday’s scheduled game.

Michael Tonkin and Yohan Ramírez Win Mets Bullpen Roles

Michael Tonkin

New York signed Tonkin this winter to a split contract after his bounce-back year with the Atlanta Braves. The 34-year-old returned to the majors after a five-year layoff to toss 80 innings in 45 games.

Tonkin earned a spot on the roster with a great spring. He allowed zero runs in 7 2/3 innings over five games with seven strikeouts and four walks. While he likely entered camp with the job to lose, his spring performance solidified his role in the Mets bullpen on Opening Day.

Tonkin is not a high-ceiling arm (4.28 ERA, 104 ERA+) that will dominate hitters. However, his ability to eat innings and save the rest of the bullpen/pitching staff provides immense value. The Mets saw the value in this from Trevor Williams in 2022. Ideally, Tonkin plays a similar role, especially with more uncertainty in the 2024 starting rotation compared to 2022.

Yohan Ramírez

The Mets acquired Ramírez from the Chicago White Sox in December after Chicago signed Erick Fedde. 29 in May, Ramírez has a lively arm but hasn’t gotten the most out of his talent in the majors. He averages 95.1 mph on his fastball and induces soft contact and ground balls. However, he doesn’t strike enough hitters out and walks too many.

In 38 1/3 innings last year, Ramírez posted a 4.23 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 17 walks. For his career, Ramírez has a 23.2 percent strikeout rate (a little better than the league average) and a poor 12.5 percent walk rate. However, New York will hope that they can harness his potential. The early results are promising.

In seven Grapefruit League games, Ramírez had a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings. Even better, he struck out 11 while walking only two. If he develops, the Mets bullpen will get an inexpensive, high-octane arm that elevates the team’s potential. If not, the Mets can easily move on from Ramírez.

Main Photo: © Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message