The Mets have struggled for much of the season when it comes to left-handed relief, but Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweets that a source says the team is “unlikely” to trade for another reliever. Mike Puma of the New York Post, too, tweets that the Mets don’t expect to add a reliever from outside the organization.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson acquired both Alex Torres and Jerry Blevins late in the offseason and selected Sean Gilmartin from the Twins in the Rule 5 Draft in an effort to bolster the team’s left-handed relief corps. Blevins was excellent in a handful of appearances early this year, but he suffered a fractured forearm when he was hit by a comebacker and re-fractured the arm last month, so the Mets will receive just five (perfect) innings from him all season. Torres, on the other hand, struggled immensely against left-handed hitters, yielding a .268/.406/.393 batting line to same-handed batters before being designated for assignment.
Gilmartin has proved to be one of the better selections in the most recent Rule 5 Draft, as he’s posted a 2.34 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 42 1/3 innings, pitching effectively against both right-handed hitters (.605 OPS) and left-handed hitters (.607 OPS). Despite his strong showing, the Mets have just one reliable lefty reliever in the bullpen at the moment. The team acquired Eric O’Flaherty from the A’s earlier this month, but he’s surrendered 10 runs in 5 2/3 innings since the trade.
As DiComo wrote last night at greater length, the Mets do have internal options. Dario Alvarez has a 2.68 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A this season, and he’s averaged 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings against 4.2 walks per nine. Likewise, former first-round pick Josh Smoker (31st by the Nationals, 2007) has had a career resurgence with the Mets and worked his way up to Double-A this season, posting a 2.76 ERA with 11.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings this season. DiComo notes that Smoker appears to be behind Alvarez on the depth chart at this time, however.