With the news this past weekend that (former) Diamondbacks reliever Addison Reed was headed to the Mets, New York may have finally secured the missing piece to their bullpen: a steady seventh-inning reliever to bridge the gap between the talented starting rotation and the eighth- and ninth-inning guys, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia. This was a forward-looking move by the front office: an anticipation of, dare we say, the likely reality of the Mets in the playoffs.
Any memories of Reed’s 2015 season in Arizona — which was punctuated by early struggles, culminating in him losing the closer role — may need to be revised given his move to New York. While his lack of command was the main driver of his first half problems (as well as some bad luck in terms of balls put in play), his second half has been more along the lines of the reliever that at times showed dominance for the White Sox and Diamondbacks.
Let’s take a look at a few key stats for Reed between the first and second halves of the season to get a better handle on who the Mets might be getting in return for two young arms:
|Strikeout %||Walk %||BABIP||WHIP||ERA||FIP|
Reed’s command has returned in the almost two months since the All-Star break, his strikeout rate is up from the first half of the season, and his velocity is largely unchanged from the previous two seasons. The vital signs point to a useful reliever who has seemingly put both first half struggles and an injury behind him, one who will be at the very least an upgrade over the previous option of Hansel Robles (even though Robles has been very effective in the second half of the season).
Owen Watson writes for FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @ohwatson.