The Mets have decided to favor experience over youth, at least for one weekend. They announced that Miguel Batista would initially fill Dillon Gee’s rotation spot and start Saturday against the Dodgers.
The 41-year-old Batista will be making his first start since May 19. He’s 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in four starts this season. A mop-up man of late, he’s allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits in four innings out of the pen this month.
The alternative to Batista was Matt Harvey, and the Mets gave enough thought bringing up their 2010 first-round pick that manager Terry Collins felt the need to call him when he wasn’t chosen. Harvey was put on schedule to pitch Saturday when Triple-A Buffalo set its rotation following the All-Star break. He allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings in his start for the Bisons last night.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.