The 2019 Mets sent 23 different relief pitchers to the mound over the course of the season, so you could be forgiven for forgetting a few of them. Some of them had distinguishing features: Daniel Zamora is the other lefty, Tyler Bashlor has a tattoo sleeve on his pitching arm (and is hot), Jacob Rhame looks like a background character in The Office, Chris Mazza wears stirrups, Walker Lockett starts sometimes, Brooks Pounders looks exactly like he should, etc.
And then there’s Tim Peterson, whose distinguishing feature may be that he was sarcastically dubbed Eliterson. Otherwise, he could be any of Ryan O’Rourke, Paul Sewald or Drew Gagnon.
And like that collection of indistinguishable older relievers, Peterson was nothing special in 2019. The righty threw 7.1 innings in 6 appearances. He gave up four earned runs in that time, which translates to a 4.91 ERA. Half of those runs came on the lone homer he allowed, a two-run shot by Gary Sanchez in the first half of the Mets doubleheader against the Yankees on June 11. That was also Peterson’s last appearance for the 2019 Mets.
While a 4.91 ERA and just one homer isn’t aggressively horrible for a Quad-A reliever, Peterson’s control issues were the real reason he didn’t see more time. He walked seven batters and also hit one while striking out just three. Include the seven hits he allowed and subtract his lone intentional walk and almost 45 percent of the batters he faced reached base. His 8.6 BB/9 was third-highest on the Mets, trailing just O’Rourke (who walked three batters in just 1.1 innings) and Rhame (nine in 6.1).
Peterson was actually on the Mets’ Opening Day roster; that fact alone should have shown the Mets they were going to have some bullpen problems, putting aside Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia struggling. Presumptive final arm Hector Santiago looked awful in the spring, which led to Peterson getting the nod instead.
He didn’t last very long, though he pitched with retroactively alarming frequency. He made four appearances, the first three of which were okay. But then on April 7, he entered with the Mets trailing the Nationals 6-1 with two outs and the bases loaded. He threw a wild pitch to drive in a run, and in the next frame walked four, with all three of the non-intentional walks coming with two outs and the final driving in a run.
He came back up on May 5 and looked the best he would all season, throwing 2.1 innings of shutout innings in relief of Jason Vargas to keep the Mets within striking distance of the Brewers (they still lost). However, the next day the Mets traded for Wilmer Font and activated Justin Wilson from the IL, so he was sent back to Syracuse.
He came back up on June 9, pitched in the aforementioned Yankees game and that was it, probably for his Mets career, as he elected to enter free agency at the end of the season.
Tim Peterson’s Mets tenure was probably always doomed, considering I typed “David Peterson” multiple times in this article, with the latter being one of the Mets’ top pitching prospects and closer to earning an “Eliterson” moniker than the former. David is one of the Mets best young arms, and a lefty to boot, while Tim was one of the Mets worst older pitchers who has now been booted.