UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Padres left-hander Marc Rzepczynski is the reliever who was claimed off revocable waivers by the Mets. It’s unclear how long the two sides have to complete a deal.
Rzepczynski was just acquired from the Indians last month. The 29-year-old owns a mediocre 4.88 ERA in 60 appearances this season, but he has 33 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings and the highest ground ball rate of his career. With his history of keeping left-handed batters in check, you can see why the Mets would consider taking a chance on him. He’s making $2.4 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the fourth and final time this winter.
3:10 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the Mets have put in a waiver claim on a reliever. The team with the reliever can either let him go to the Mets, negotiate a trade, or pull him back off waivers.
2:59 p.m. ET: MLB’s waiver trade deadline is coming up on Tuesday and Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the first-place Mets are “making progress” on acquiring a reliever.
While it’s no sure thing that a deal will ultimately come together, Rubin hears that the Mets are having “tangible talks.” The team has already added Tyler Clippard and Eric O’Flaherty in separate deals with the Athletics over the past month. While Clippard has settled in as the primary set-up man for closer Jeurys Familia, O’Flaherty has allowed 10 runs on 13 hits and one walk over six innings with his new club. The Mets have gotten next to nothing out of the likes of Jenrry Mejia, Jerry Blevins, Bobby Parnell, and Vic Black this season, so the bridge to the late innings is a bit shaky at the moment.
Acquiring a left-handed specialist would be ideal, but it will be interesting to see if a quality arm makes it to them through waivers. There’s incentive for other teams to put in a claim first, either out of legitimate need or to block.
If we learned anything today it was that relief pitcher is more likely to get hurt falling off a curb than he is in a benches clearing brawl. The former by virtue of the Jerry Blevins news, the latter due to this Brian Costa and Geoff Foster article in the Wall Street Journal about the lack of drama in the modern baseball fight.
They count up the number of “fights” since the beginning of last season and the actual number of punches thrown. Note: not a big number. There’s a funny line in there about the hats thrown too.
But the best part is about the bullpens who, as tradition dictates, empty out on the field as if they’re coming out to kick some butt in defense of their teammates. In reality, it’s not so dramatic:
When there is a single, shared stairwell through which pitchers exit the bullpens, pitchers from both teams merge politely into one line. “You’re running out of the bullpen with the guys you’re supposed to be angry with, and you’re all kind of filing through single file,” O’Day said, “and then you get out to the middle of the field and you’re acting tough.”
This fierce band of brothers will go to any length to defend a teammate’s honor, as long as they don’t trip and fall. O’Day recalled running down the bullpen stairs at Angel Stadium during one incident in 2008 and hearing another pitcher yell out, “Be careful on the steps!”
It’s like the “morning Sam,” “morning Ralph” coyote-sheepdog cartoons from back in the day. Except everyone is friendly with each other before AND after they punch in for the day.
Brutal news for Mets left-hander Jerry Blevins.
Blevins was making enough progress in his recovery from a distal radius fracture in his left arm suffered in April that the Mets were hoping to have him as a bullpen option in September.
Instead he’ll miss the remainder of the season and will require surgery after slipping while stepping off a curb Monday and re-fracturing the same bone.
Blevins tossed five scoreless innings for the Mets prior to the injury and has a 3.53 ERA with 309 strikeouts in 329 career innings as a big leaguer. He was acquired from the Nationals this offseason in exchange for outfielder Matt den Dekker.
New York added to its southpaw reliever depth by getting Eric O’Flaherty from Oakland prior to knowing the severity of the Blevins news, so he’ll join Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin as the Mets’ primary lefties.