The NY Mets will be relying even more on Jerry Blevins with the loss yesterday of closer Jeurys Familia. Last off-season, after the Mets re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, about the only remaining drama was whether they would also re-sign the veteran bullpen arm. The 33-year-old lefty, known simply as “Blev”, throws a sinker about two-thirds of the time and a curve the rest. Since he had been in the Major Leagues for 7 years, it was his first shot at free agency. Eventually, as no multi-year offer appeared, Jerry and the Mets agreed to a 1 year contract for $6.5M with a team option for 2018.
2016 Was a Good Year
There is no doubt that Blevins was effective as a late inning setup man for the NY Mets in 2016. He made a career-high 73 appearances. Not just as a LOOGY either. A left-handed specialist is sometimes called a LOOGY (or Lefty One-Out GuY). In fact, left-handed batters batted .255 (26-102) while right-handed batters batted .182 (10-55) against him. Not a flamethrower by any means, Jerry still had a 11.14 K/9 (30% compared to league average 23%). And thanks to his sinker, he only gave up 0.86 HR/9.
Jerry Blevins and Men Left On Base
One area where Blevins has excelled through out his Mets career is in leaving men on base. It’s common for him to come into a game at a critical moment, when the other team is threatening to score. Last year, Jerry stranded 47 of 55 inherited runners, which tied for the most stranded runners in the majors with San Francisco’s Javier Lopez. It was an amazing 82% of men left on base. He held opponents to a .167 (6-36) average with runners in scoring position. You can see in the graph below how much better than the MLB average Blevins is in leaving men on base.
So far this season, Jerry has continued his outstanding relief work. He’s already appeared in 20 games (12.1 innings), hasn’t allowed a home run and has an ERA of 0.73. Amazingly, he has stranded an astounding 91% of inherited runners on base.
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