Mets Add Depth in Signing Ottavino

The Mets have added depth in the pen, signing Adam Ottavino to an one year, 4 million dollar deal. The 36 year old is coming off a difficult season, pitching to a 4.21 ERA.

However, the statecast numbers for Ottavino are pretty solid. He limited hard hit contact and hitters couldn’t barrel him up. His expected ERA, expected Batting Average against and expected slugging were also very solid. Main issue with Ottavino was his walk rate and chase rate.

What is odd to me, looking at his statecast numbers is his chase rate. Ottavino is known for his good slider, so a lack of hitters chasing his pitches is surprising to me. What isn’t surprising with his slider is the success against RHders.

In the end Ottavino is still an arm with a track record and experience in high leverage situations. He will join Diaz, May, Castro, Lugo and Smith as the main righties in the Mets pen. The Mets clearly still need a lefty and will most likely add one.

Photo Credit: New York Post Sports

Mets in on Jose Iglesias

The Mets are interested in Short Stop Jose Iglesias according to Mike Rodriguez. The Mets are in talks with the 32 year old, with the Guardians, Red Sox, Orioles and Diamondbacks also in the mix.

It’s clear what Iglesias his job will be, if he signs with the Mets. He will be a back up infielder who can man Short if needed. Iglesias is most known for his very solid glove and tremendous plays with the glove.

With the bat Iglesias doesn’t provide much. A career .700 OPS, mostly because of his lack of power and on base skills. In 2021 Iglesias hit .271/.309/.391 with 9 homeruns and 48 driven in. Iglesias doesn’t work the count, so he doesn’t strike out a lot, besides being one of the worst in the league according to chase rate.

His main attraction is the glove. Iglesias is able to make mind boggling plays at short. But in 2021, he also showed some smooth plays at second. Iglesias had a plus 1 OAA at short and second in 2021. Worth noting is that Iglesias his OAA in 2019 and 2020 combined was 17, which is really good.

If the Mets believe he can play the infield like he did in 19/20, that’s a major plus. He won’t give the Mets much with the bat so his value is defense.

After a down year (-0.7 WAR), it’s possible Iglesias accepts a minor league deal? If it’s a MLB deal, I am not in favor of getting Iglesias. His defense took a hit in 2021 and with that being his main asset, I think there are better options in house to be the back up infielder. Guillorme anyone?

PhotoCredit: Major League Baseball Indonesia on twitter

Mets Eyeing Starters on Trading Market

The Mets are trying to add a starting pitcher and they might do so in a trade. The Mets have had trade talks with the Reds about Mahle (per Michael Mayer) and have done a background check on Luke Weaver (Andy Martino). This comes soon after the news that Carlos Rodon has signed with the Giants and Kershaw returned to the Dodgers.

Mahle is the bigger name of the two, after back to back very good seasons in Cincinnati. The 27 year old righty had a tremendous year pitching to a 4.9 WAR without missing any starts. He went 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA over 180 innings pitched. Worth noting is that Mahle pitched in a extremely hitters friendly ballpark half of the time and his splits show that.

Mahle main improvement is his K’s per nine over the last two. With a increased Whiff rate, he has thrived. Between 2020 and 2021, he had pitched to a 3.72 ERA/3.82FIP, 1.21WHIP with a 10.7 K per nine rate. It’s shown in his Baseball Savant page, that the righty has found his success.

Baseball Savant

Mahle has ditched his curve and now works with 3 pitches. He has a 4 seamer (-10 Run Value), Splitter (-4 Run Value) and Slider (plus 1 Run Value). Early in his MLB Career he also used a change up and cutter, but those pitches didn’t have success. Since he ditched some pitches, he has gotten better. A solid formula for Mahle.

Mahle would definitely cost prospects to get. With him having a couple of great years and some control left (Free agent in 2024), he will be costly. However, sliding that type of arm in the rotation behind deGrom and Scherzer, will make the Mets rotation one of the best in the game.

Luke Weaver is another arm the Mets have reportedly being linked too. Weaver is more of a back end arm, that gives the Mets depth and innings. The former Cardinal, has been with the Diamondbacks in recent years.

The 2014 first round pick pitched to a 4.25 ERA over 13 starts with the Diamondbacks in 2021, pitching 65.2 innings. The 28 year righty missed starts due to a shoulder strain in 2021, but returned in September with 5 starts.

Like Mahle, Weaver has two years of control left, which make the trade more costly. However, Weaver won’t cost nearly as much as Mahle.

Weaver isn’t a strikeout guy and allows some hard hit contact, however his WHIP in 2021 was just 1.18, mainly because of his low walk rate.

Over his career Weaver owns a 4.64 ERA with a 4.06 FIP. His Baseball Savant page isn’t pretty, but he isn’t a top rotation arm and won’t be as costly as mentioned before.

It depends on which route the Mets will go and how much they want to give up. Obviously Mahle is the bigger name but Weaver provides much needed depth. In my opinion a strong number three is a must, so would definitely prefer Mahle over Weaver. Either way, it will be interesting what the Mets will do to fill out their rotation the next days.

Photo Credit: MLB trade Rumors on Twitter

Mets Expected to make a Strong Push Toward Signing Kikuchi

To no one surprise the Mets are considered strong suitors for the service of left hander Yusei Kikuchi. According to Pat Ragazzo the Mets are expected to heavily pursuit the 30 year old after the lockout is over.

Kikuchi is coming of a season with two different halfs. The first half he was an all start pitching to a 3.48 ERA in the first half with a 1.08 WHIP. The second half was the complete opposite with a 5.98 ERA and 1.70 WHIP.

His overall numbers in his MLB Career won’t wow you. He has pitched to a 4.97 ERA (4.41 in 2021) with a 2.4 WAR. However, Kikuchi is seen as a guy with high upside because of his tremendous stuff.

His main plus is his above average swing and miss stuff. He is in the 63th percentile in Whiff%, 60th percentile in chase rate and 57th percentile in K%. All improvement from his debut season in 2019.

If you look at Kikuchi his run value per pitch. He has success with his cutter (-4) and his change-up (-3). His 4 seamer is league average at 0 but his slider is plus 4. He still throws his slider 18.9% of the time and his change-up just 10.5%. If he switches those two pitches up, he could find more success.

His change-up is by far his most successful pitch. In 2021 hitters had an expected slash line of .175/.194/.256 with a 39.4% Whiff rate. Main reason for his increased success with that pitch is getting more vertical drop. His vertical drop went from 1.5 inches below average in 2019, to 0.1 inches above average in 2020, followed by 1.3 above average in 2021. Conclusion: Throw that pitch more Yusei!

If you watch Kikuchi pitch you see a lot of vertical drop in his pitches. His slider has the most success getting 3.4 inches above average (good for 59th amongst all pitchers). His horizontal movement is all way below average besides his 4 seamer that he increased from 0.9 inches below to 2.2 inches above average.

Conclusion, you see a ton of downward action on Kikuchi his pitches. If he is able to use his cutter, 4 seamer and change-up more and limit his slider, he could perform better. The stuff is there with a mid to high 90’s FB from the left side, but he has to get is all together a full year. After a promising 60 game season in 2020, followed by a strong first half, maybe he got out of Gass during the second half of 2021?

I definitely see potential in Kikuchi. He would provide another arm for our rotation and move Peterson/Megill to possible depth arms. The Mets lacked starting pitching depth last year so we know that’s desperately needed. To me with the Mets offense a rotation of deGrom, Scherzer, Walker, Kikuchi and Carrasco (hopefully returns to form), should be strong to compete.

Photo Credit: MLB trade Rumors

Juan Soto Younger Brother Elian intends to Sign with the Mets

The Mets and Elian Soto are intending to get a deal in the next international Free Agent signing period, according to Yancen Pujols.

Elian is a left handed hitting outfielder, just like his brother. There isn’t much information to be found on the web, but getting Elian, could lure Juan to the Mets when he is a free agent?

Master Flip
Juan Jose Soto

Photo by: Writers Archive