The Mets have told Tommy Hunter that he will make the team’s Opening Day roster, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports (Twitter link). The move will become official when the Mets select Hunter’s minor league contract prior to their Opening Day matchup with the Marlins on March 30, but a decision had to be made earlier since Hunter has an opt-out clause in his contract today.
Once Hunter appears in a game, it will mark his 16 Major League campaign and his third season with the Mets. His stint in Queens hasn’t resulted in much actual playing time, as injuries have limited Hunter to only 22 games and 30 1/3 innings in a Mets uniform. Brought back on another minors deal this winter, Hunter won himself a roster job on the strength of a spotless 0.00 ERA in eight Grapefruit League innings, with only four hits and a walk scattered across those eight frames. Hunter has also struck out nine of 30 batters faced this spring.
This kind of performance might well have earned Hunter a roster spot anyway, but the Mets’ string of bullpen injuries also created some more opportunity. Edwin Diaz’s season-threatening knee surgery was naturally the biggest of the injuries, but Sam Coonrod and Bryce Montes de Oca have also been sidelined. Brooks Raley suffered a hamstring strain that forced him out of the World Baseball Classic, but the Mets are hopeful that Raley can still be ready for Opening Day.
Though injuries have kept him off the field in the last few years, Hunter has quietly posted very strong numbers for the last decade. Since the start of the 2013 season, Hunter has a 3.14 ERA, 45.6% grounder rate, 20.8% strikeout rate, and 5.4% walk rate over 424 1/3 innings with six different teams. Never a big strikeout pitcher, Hunter has kept batters off-balance and not hurt himself by limiting free passes. While his 22 1/3 innings last season are an imperfect sample size, Hunter did display an increased use of his cutter, throwing the pitch 46.7% of the time.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Big game hunter! It seems like it has been forever since he’s been gone. Please come back home. genius.com/Fort-minor-whered-you-go-lyrics
He’s only 36, but I remember him being a key part of the 2010 rotation.
Tommy Hunter is in, Hunter Strickland is out.
Career 1.000 hitter as a Met. Seems like an easy call.
Low key he’s been solid in his role, when on squad
Definitely a good piece to have in the pen, guy can pitch but health issues have held him back.
This was an easy call. He probably would have made the team anyway, even without the injuries. When he’s healthy he’s solid.
Little Stevie Janowsky
I actually really liked Tommy Hunter when they first got him about 2 seasons ago. Thought he would be a great addition. Having said that, that back surgery he got done (which is why he was traded to the Rays) completely ruined him. He looks like a shell of his former self. Hes better than Drew Smith but thats not saying much. Had around a 2.50 ERA last year but he really just was getting lucky and pitched in very low leverage situations. I wish Tommy the best but he just looks finished
yeah / who needs a relief pitcher that gets batters out
When do EVER say anything positive about the Mets?!?!
What do you mean? I complimented Tommy in this post, hes old and he got back surgery 2 seasons ago, hes finished. I said that I liked the McNeil extention and the signing of Ottavino. 400 million dollars spent and its sad that those were the only 2 good moves
Why would he?
Heh heh heh.
@Flanster @mookiesboy @bronxmac77 Tommy Hunter just gave up 5 runs on the home opener in 1 inning. Told you guys he was finished, looks like I was right again
I never should have doubted you, Biff.
It’s 10-zip now. Mets are getting fisted.
I was wrong about one thing, its not the homeopener. Never doubt someone that watches 150/162 games a year. Was right about Carasco and Nogosek too. Verlander on the list as well. Quintana, Eppler, etc. I just don’t lose
He gave the Phillies some good performances over his time there. But i used to hear that his other injuries came about because he compensated for his back pain by stressing out other body parts. Even when he was a Phillie I thought how much better he would be if he just lost 10-15 pounds. But those thoughts are now 4 -5 years old, and that is easier said than done. Tommy Hunter is what he is. But I do hope he stays healthy to pitch a full season.
Glad to see him still sticking around. Seems like he’s been in the majors for ever. Keep trucking big guy!
Look to get the 20 respectable innings he’ll give you before missing four months with inflammations and tears, postponing having to start playing the options game.
If Milwaukee picked up Ruf they could go to a Ruf and Rowdy platoon.