Chris Flexen has been having a tough go at this Major League pitching thing, to his credit, he was rushed to the scene about a year or more or so than he should have been.
The 24 year old came into Spring Training slimmed down this year as fans were accustomed to his large 6’3″ frame. What we’ve also been accustomed to with Flexen is taking the mound as a starter, as he’s always been advertised to be.
However, Flexen just hasn’t panned out the way fans and front office had hoped. In 22 career games, Flexen has logged in 63.0 innings pitched with just 45 strikeouts, a 8.43 ERA, 2.16 WHIP and a career 3-11 record. It’s just been ugly.
However, I believe Flexen has found himself a new role within the team’s pitching staff. The righty came out of the bullpen on Wednesday and was tossing fire, oh yea, and he pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
While Flexen has some ways to go to lower that crazy 8.31 ERA, it shouldn’t be too difficult considering that the pitcher only has 8.2 innings under his belt this year. With Flexen coming out of the pen on Tuesday, it looked like his velocity was up by 3-4 MPH on his four-seam fastball. He genuinely looked like a Major League pitcher gassing up to 96-97MPH, something he hasn’t been able to consistently accomplish since first being called up.
Look for the heavy hitting Flexen to continue his role in the bullpen as long as he’s up with the Major League club. Unfortunately, sometimes pitching 2 or 3 scoreless innings will earn you a trip right back to AAA, with the team looking for a fresher arm on that 40-man roster.
But the new added life to Flexen’s fastball may have added a few years to the pitcher’s career, just as long as he’s out here doing it on a somewhat consistent basis and acting as reliable relief pitcher. Obviously, something the Mets are absolutely desperate for.