Daniel Zamora’s major league campaign was one of the pleasant surprises for the Mets in the second half of the 2018 season. After spending three seasons in the Pirates organization, the Stony Brook product was traded to the Mets in exchange for Josh Smoker late in the 2017 offseason. Zamora spent the majority of 2018 in Binghamton, appearing in 40 games and throwing 51.2 innings with a 3.40 ERA while striking out 12 batters per nine innings.
Zamora was called up to the big leagues on August 17 and made his debut later that night against the Phillies, going an inning-and-a-third with two strikeouts and no runs allowed. Zamora went on to appear in 16 games over the last month-and-a-half of the regular season, striking out 16 batters per nine innings and posting a 128 ERA+ and a 2.38 FIP.
Heading into 2019, Zamora will be competing for one of the last remaining spots in the Mets’ bullpen. With the additions of Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, and Justin Wilson, as well as the return of Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, there figure to be two open spots in the bullpen. Zamora’s competition will most likely consist of Paul Sewald, Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor, Jacob Rhame, Luis Avilan, and Kyle Dowdy. Without an overpowering fastball, Zamora will need to continue to pitch efficiently and use his slider wisely. Doing so would allow Zamora to continue to be effective in the big leagues and start the season on the Opening Day roster.
Steamer projects Zamora to appear in 35 games throughout the course of the 2019 season, producing a 0.1 WAR while striking out 9.37 batters per nine innings and posting a 3.79 ERA and 3.99 FIP. PECOTA projects a similar 0.2 WARP for Zamora and a 3.89 ERA.
If Zamora can prove his worth throughout the course of spring training and earn himself a spot on the Opening Day roster, Mets fans can hope he is able to repeat the success he had in 2018 and become a reliable lefty out of the bullpen. If he is able to do so, he will be another strong piece to an already revamped relief corps which could play a big role in the Mets’ success this season.