Through the first twenty-three games of the Mets’ season, the back end of the team’s bullpen has been a constant. If the Mets have a lead late in a game, they’re going to three pitchers: Miguel Castro, Trevor May, and Edwin Díaz. All three have been very good, even if recent hiccups have inflated the ERAs of Castro and Díaz a bit.
The newest Met of the trio, May has thrown 9.1 innings with a 1.93 ERA and 0.75 FIP. He’s struck out 37.8 percent of opposing hitters, a rate that is slightly lower than the career high 39.6 percent that he struck out last year. What’s impressive is that he’s maintained that level of strikeouts while cutting his walk rate to 5.4 percent, down from 7.3 percent last year and nearly a 50 percent reduction from his 9.8 percent walk rate in 2019.
May has not yet allowed a home run as a Met, and given his career rate of 1.16 home runs allowed per nine innings, it’s reasonable to expect that to change. With Major League Baseball having openly deadened the baseball for this season, though, it’s possible that the rate won’t regress all the way to his career norms, much of which were established with the very live ball used in 2019 and 2020.
According to Statcast, May has used a three-pitch mix so far this year, relying most heavily on his four-seam fastball, which he’s thrown 62.5 percent of the time and thrown at an average velocity of 95.9 miles per hour. He’s used his two secondary pitches about equally, throwing his changeup 19.4 percent of the time and averaging 85.8 miles per hour on it, while throwing his slider 18.1 percent of the time at an average of 85.1 miles per hour.
All three pitches are generating swings-and-misses, with the changeup leading the way with a 40 percent whiff rate, the fastball at 32.8 percent, and the slider at 18.2 percent. And while he’s using all three effectively, the fastball has really been his put-away pitch, as he’s finished almost all of his strikeouts with it.
Here’s May striking out Roman Quinn on a 97.3 mile per hour fastball early in the season.
And here’s a 96.8 mile per hour fastball from May to strike out Franchy Cordero last week.
And while most of his strikeouts have ended like the two above, let’s take a quick look at one that ended with a changeup—which may not have been intended to be thrown this high to Enrique Hernandez but worked anyway.
And last but not least, here’s May making Adam Haseley miss badly on a slider to strike him out.
The Mets didn’t make many moves in the bullpen over the offseason, but of the new acquistions, May was certainly the biggest. And it’s been fun to see him succeed so far, especially since he’s a very likable and very online player, to boot.