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2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Pat Neshek

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The Mets could use a relief pitcher or two, and the veteran sidearmer is available.

USA TODAY Sports

Pat Neshek, the right-handed, 33-year-old sidearmer, made his major league debut in 2006 with the Minnesota Twins. Over his first two seasons with them, he posted an impressive 2.68 ERA and 163 ERA+. The next four seasons didn't go nearly as well, however, as he struggled in 2008, missed all of 2009 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and struggled some more in 2010 and 2011, as his strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate ballooned. In total, he made just 51 big league appearances between 2008 and 2011.

Neshek signed with the Baltimore Orioles before the 2012 season but spent the grand majority of the year playing for their Triple-A affiliate. The Oakland Athletics acquired him from Baltimore that August, and he bounced back nicely for them with a 2.70 ERA and 141 ERA+ across 2012 and 2013. He brought his walk rate back down to a reasonable rate, and although his strikeout rate was relatively low for a relief pitcher, he was effective.

It likely comes as no surprise that Neshek has been more effective against right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters over the course of his career. His home run rate—1.22 per nine innings and slightly higher than that with the A's—has been drastically worse against lefties. That's not ideal, but if used properly, there's a good shot that he can continue to be a good relief pitcher next year.