The New York Mets recently called up and sent down left handed reliever, Buddy Baumann, to add another lefty to their bullpen. The Mets claimed Baumann of waivers from the San Diego Padres in late April.
Baumann was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. From there he started what would be a long journey to the big leagues. He went on to pitch five innings the same year with the Burlington Royals in rookie ball. 2010 was his first full year in professional baseball. He went 4–2 with four saves and a 2.24 ERA in 31 games (14 starts) for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. This was the first and only time in his career where he pitched 100 innings.
In 2011, Baumann went 4–3, with 2 saves and a 4.29 ERA in 25 games (17 starts) for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. He spent the following season being used solely as a reliever for the Naturals. In 32 games, he went 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA. Baumann spent 49 of his 53 innings in 2013 with Omaha Storm Chasers in Triple-A. He pitched 53 innings, struck out 72 and has a 2.55 ERA. Over this time, Baumann was never regarded as a top tier prospect and this contributed to his long stay in the minor leagues.
He spent the 2014 and 2015 season with the Storm Chasers. Over 74 games (18 starts) he pitched 167.1 innings, struck out 152 batters and had a 3.12 ERA. He elected to become a free agent after the 2015 season after never pitching in the big leagues with the Royals.
Fresh Start With The Padres
The San Diego Padres signed Baumann to a one-year major league deal for the 2016 season. He was sent up and down many times and had a 3.14 ERA in 27 games with the El Paso Chihuahuas. The Padres finally called him up in mid July, but he threw one pitch, got an out and was sent down the next day. After more of the same he finished his 2016 season with a 3.72 ERA in 11 games as a Padre.
Baumann spent much of the 2017 season on the DL, but did manage to get into 23 games with the Padres. He had a 2.55 ERA over 17.2 innings and held left handed batters to a .148 batting average. Baumann only got into one game with the Padres in 2018 and was shelled for five runs. He was also suspended for one game because of his role in a fight between the Padres and Colorado Rockies.
Can Baumann Help The Mets?
After the Mets claimed Baumann off of waivers they sent him to the Las Vegas 51s. He has only allowed one run in 4.2 innings before he was called up. Baumann was taking the roster spot of Hansel Robles who was put on the disabled list last week. He served his suspension during Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baumann was only up for a couple of days and was sent down for Jacob deGrom. He figures to find his way back to the big leagues because the Mets like to have fresh arms in the bullpen.
Baumann features a fastball (89-91), slider (82-85) and a changeup (81-83). He is not your typical lefty specialist because over his career he has held righties to a .228 batting average and lefties to .163. He can potentially fill the role of a much needed second lefty in the bullpen.