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Anthony Swarzak is a big piece of the Mets’ bullpen puzzle for 2018

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Having joined the Mets via free agency, Anthony Swarzak enters the 2018 season with a key role in the bullpen.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

After signing a two-year, $14 million contract with the Mets in December, veteran right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak provides the team with a proven arm to help stabilize the bullpen. Splitting time between the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers in 2017, Swarzak put together a career year. Appearing in 70 games, the 32-year-old reliever produced a strong body of work highlighted by his 2.33 ERA, 187 ERA+, 1.034 WHIP, and a 10.6 K/9, all of which were career bests.

During the 2015 season, in which Swarzak was a member of the Cleveland Indians, the right-handed reliever was introduced to Mickey Callaway, who served as the team’s pitching coach. Swarzak has spoken very highly of his time working with Callaway and credits Callaway with transforming his career because of a suggestion for altering his delivery. Additionally, Swarzak has bought into the team’s new approach on how the bullpen may be managed this upcoming season.

Looking ahead to the 2018 season, two of the major projection systems have varied opinions about the expected performance for the Mets reliever. Steamer projects a 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 9.95 K/9 in 65 innings of work. PECOTA, however, is not as high on Swarzak, projecting a 4.03 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 9.15 K/9 in only 60 innings. If Swarzak is able to achieve results similar to that projected by Steamer, his presence will fortify an intriguing bullpen headlined by Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos, and Jerry Blevins.