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Mets call up Gerson Bautista, option Hansel Robles

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The bullpen will get quite the infusion of talent from the 22-year-old Bautista

Gerson Bautista
Chris McShane

The Mets have announced that reliever Gerson Bautista will be recalled from Double-A Binghamton. The right-hander, who was acquired by the Mets in 2017 from the Boston Red Sox along with Stephen Nogosek and Jamie Callahan in exchange for Addison Reed, has appeared in three games for the Rumble Ponies this season, finishing two of them. He has yet to allow a run in five innings pitched, giving up two hits, walking none, and striking out eleven.

The Bautista wearing a Mets uniform is a very different pitcher than the one the team acquired last July at the trade deadline. Pitching for the Salem Red Sox, Boston’s High-A affiliate, Bautista had a 5.16 ERA in 45.1 innings, having allowed fifty-four hits, walked twenty-eight, and struck out fifty-three. In the two months that followed, the right-hander was a force to be reckoned with out of the St. Lucie Mets bullpen. In 14.1 innings pitched, he posted a 1.26 ERA, allowing ten hits, walking three, and striking out twenty.

The right-hander has a live arm that regularly touches triple-digits. In 2017, Bautista had the third-highest fastball velocity in all of Single-A ball, averaging 98.1 MPH with the pitch. An astounding 33 pitches were clocked at 100 MPH or more. The pitch is more than just pure velocity, too, as it shows a bit of sink thanks to Bautista’s arm slot, and some arm-side run as well. Complementing his fastball- arguably the best fastball in the Mets’ system currently- are a slider and a changeup. Both pitches are fringe-average-to-average, but both have improved in the short time he has been in the organization and may continue improving. His slider, which sits in the mid-to-high 80s, is currently the better of the two pitches, but the changeup is still a fairly new weapon in his arsenal, having developed from a splitter that he scrapped from his arsenal, and could eventually prove the better.

Bautista’s mechanics have plagued him for virtually his entire professional career, giving him poor command of his pitches. Throwing from a stiff, over-the-top motion, his delivery contains many moving parts that, when combined with a violent head whip that jerks his body to the point that his hat has fallen off of his head on more than one occasion, cause him to lose his release point from pitch to pitch. Working with St. Lucie pitching coach Mark Valdes during his time with the St. Lucie Mets, and various coaches during spring training, Bautista has seemingly been able to keep his mechanics consistent, demonstrated by the pronounced drop in walks he has allowed. His ability to keep this up will be the determining factor in whether or not he will be able to have success in the major leagues.

In order to make room for Bautista, Hansel Robles will be optioned to Triple-A Las. Robles has appeared in eight games for the Mets this season and currently has a 3.38 ERA in eight innings pitched, with eight hits surrendered, one walk, and thirteen strikeouts.