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Tim Peterson enters 2019 as the last man in the bullpen

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Peterson was cut from camp, but has reportedly won the last spot in the Opening Day bullpen anyway.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Tim Peterson has been a member of the Mets organization for seven years now; he was selected in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB draft and has been with the organization ever since. He has been a trooper throughout, spending six long years in the minor leagues before finally busting through to the big leagues last year at the age of 27.

Peterson, despite not having a great repertoire and never being seen as much more than an organizational filler type of reliever, performed surprisingly well in his first 11.1 innings in the big leagues, with a 1.59 and a 3.87 FIP, and he was actually one of the few bright spots during the team’s historically bad month of June. Things went downhill quickly from there, though, as Peterson pitched to a 9.00 ERA in his next 17.0 innings of work at the big league level, allowing six home runs over those 17 innings.

This year, despite multiple additions to bolster their bullpen, the Mets still had an open spot there for the last reliever on the team for the Opening Day bullpen. Peterson was not considered a strong favorite for the spot coming into spring training, but had thrown his hat into the ring with 5.2 shutout innings over the first few weeks of games. However, in somewhat of a mirror to his 2018 season, his great start was followed by some rough outings, and he was cut from major league camp last week.

Despite that, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Mets decided to put Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy on waivers and officially reward the last spot to Peterson anyway. The reason for this was likely because Peterson is currently the only pitcher in the bullpen with options, and allows the Mets more roster flexibility than Dowdy did.

Because he still has that option year, Peterson figures to be up and down between the Mets and Triple-A Syracuse this year. But given the team’s lack of relief depth behind Peterson, he should receive a fair amount of innings in at the big-league level. That said, don’t expect him to make much of an impact with the innings he does receive. Unfortunately, he may never have the stuff to get major league hitters out consistently, and he does not figure to be much more than an occasional mop-up man for Mickey Callaway unless true disaster strikes.