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2014 Mets Season Review: Dana Eveland

Southpaw relief pitcher Dana Eveland performed well in 2014, but was sidelined by elbow inflammation late in the season.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Before the 2014 season, the Mets, facing a dearth of viable left-handed relief pitching options, signed Dana Eveland to a minor league contract. The move brought Eveland back stateside, as he had spent the 2013 season pitching in Korea for the Hanwa Eagles. Before that, Eveland had earned his "journeyman" stripes in the course of shuttling between six major league organizations in just eight seasons. Given these factors, and, more importantly, his modest track record, Eveland represented a low-risk opportunity for the Mets to fill a need.

Eveland rewarded the Mets by providing 27 innings of solid relief work at the major league level. While it could be argued that Eveland overachieved somewhat (note, for example, his 2.63 ERA versus a 3.21 FIP), there is no question he pitched to good results. Most notably, Eveland posted career highs in his strikeout rate—nearly a batter per inning—and his LOB%, which, at 83.3%, well outpaced his career average of 68.4%. Unfortunately for Eveland and the Mets, his encouraging 2014 campaign was brought to a halt in September due to inflammation in his pitching elbow.

The Mets recently elected to outright the 31-year-old off their 40-man roster, whereupon Eveland opted to file for free agency. Despite these developments, the Mets continue to have a need for left-handed relief pitching, and it seems plausible the team could attempt to bring Eveland back into the Metsian fold in 2015, assuming all is well with his pitching elbow.

Desired 2015 role: Healthy, consistent left-handed relief specialist

Expected 2015 role: Left-handed relief pitching specialist