The Mets have added some much needed depth from the left side, adding Alex Claudio to a minor league deal. The 29 year old lefty is coming off a bad year in the Angels pen, where he pitched to a 5.51 ERA in 32.2 innings. He struck out 30 , but walked 15 over that span. His 4.1 walks per nine was the highest in any season. He also allowed a career high 1.7 homeruns per nine in 2021.
However, if you exclude 2021, Claudio has been a mainstay in bullpens as a lefty. After 5 successfull seasons (first 2 combined just 28 innings) with the Rangers, he pitched two seasons for the Brewers. Before the 2021 season, Claudio pitched to a 3.34 ERA, holding lefties to a .596 OPS against.
With relievers you never know. Claudio is just 29 and could still have solid years left. Before 2021, he was a master in limiting hard contact. Between 2016-2020 he was in the best 10% in barrel percentage every year. With Milwaukee in 2019 (best 2%) and 2020 (best 1%) he excelled in average exit velo against.
In the end it’s a low risk move which doesn’t hurt. I am sure he won’t be the only lefty the Mets will add, hopefully a MLB deal as well when the lockout ends.
Photo Credit: GENY Mets Report on Twitter