Earlier this week, we took a look at several of the left-handed relief pitchers who are on the free agent market and could help the Mets. That group consisted of five pitchers, all of whom threw at least ten innings in 2020 with an ERA under three, a crude but easy way of sorting the group. Today, we consider a few more lefties who didn’t meet those marks but have had success, a group that includes two familiar faces.
Jose Alvarez only threw 6.1 innings in eight appearances for the Phillies this year, as he did not pitch again this year after taking a 105 mile-per-hour line drive to the groin on August 20. In the brief time that he was on the mound, he had a 1.42 ERA, and the 31-year-old was solid in a full season of work in 2019, finishing that year with a 3.36 ERA and 4.21 FIP in 59.0 innings. Those numbers were closer to his career marks, a 3.59 ERA and 3.73 FIP. Since his not-so-great rookie season in 2013, during which he made six starts, Alvarez hasn’t finished a season with an ERA above four.
Former Nationals starter Ross Detwiler made the transition from being a starting pitcher to a reliever in his final season with the Nationals in 2014. Beginning with the 2015 season, though, he struggled and bounced around, pitching for the Rangers, Braves, Indians, Athletics, Mariners, and White Sox. From 2015 through 2019, he racked up a 6.60 ERA in 182.2 innings across 26 starts and 50 relief appearances. This year, his second with the White Sox, was a much greater success, albeit in just 19.2 innings—all of which came in relief. Detwiler had a 3.20 ERA and 3.90 FIP, his best work in quite some time. It’s hard to put too much stock into such a short span of success, but maybe the 34-year-old still has something left to offer.
Justin Wilson spent the past two seasons with the Mets, having been one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s shrewdest moves in his tenure as general manager. While he had a 3.66 ERA this year, Wilson totaled a 2.91 ERA in 58.2 innings with the Mets across the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and at times he looked like the team’s best relief pitcher. At 33 years old and still throwing his fastball at an average over 95 miles per hour, Wilson could be a good fit for the Mets moving forward, too.
Having pitched for the Braves, Yankees, and Cardinals before the 2020 season, Chasen Shreve was a low-cost pickup for the Mets last offseason, and he turned out to be pretty solid for them. Over the course of 25.0 innings, Shreve had a 3.96 ERA and 3.99 FIP. The Mets opted to non-tender him rather than use a roster spot to retain him at a modest salary, but the 30-year-old Shreve could still be a useful player to have heading into spring training and the 2021 season if there’s mutual interest in a reunion following the non-tender.