Veteran left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve has been informed that he’ll make the Mets’ Opening Day roster, Shreve himself tells Tim Healey of Newsday (Twitter link). Shreve signed a minor league deal back on March 17.
This’ll be Shreve’s second stint with the Mets, and it’s a well-earned roster spot for the 31-year-old southpaw, who rattled off four hitless innings with six strikeouts against just one walk allowed during Grapefruit League play with the Mets. Following yesterday’s trade for Joely Rodriguez, Shreve gives new manager Buck Showalter a pair of experienced lefties to help balance out his bullpen.
Shreve spent the 2021 season in Pittsburgh, where he worked to a 3.20 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. However, Shreve also saw his typically strong strikeout rate (career 27.1% prior to 2021) drop to 19.1%, while his 11.9% walk rate was the third-highest mark of his eight-year big league career. The Pirates could’ve retained him via arbitration but instead chose to outright him after the season rather than pay him a raise on last year’s $1.5MM salary.
Shreve’s prior stint with the Mets was a successful one, as he tossed 25 frames during the shortened 2020 season and worked to a 3.96 ERA with a much more robust 33.3% strikeout rate. The Mets will surely hope there’s more of that bat-missing prowess on display in 2022, but so long as he notches something in the vicinity of his career 3.63 ERA (285 innings), they’ll surely be pleased with what already looks like a solid low-risk pickup.
Shreve isn’t your typical lefty specialist with gaudy platoon splits; he hasn’t dominated left-handed opponents in his career but also hasn’t been overmatched by right-handers like so many southpaws. Through 482 plate appearances, lefties have batted .222/.319/.405 against Shreve, while right-handers have posted a very similar .226/.316/.428 slash in a larger sample of 741 plate appearances. Shreve will reach six years of Major League service early this year, so when the 2022 season ends, he’ll be eligible for free agency.