The New York Mets continue to add depth to their minor league pitching staff by signing Rob Whalen to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. He was a former Mets draft pick who was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2015 for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.
Rob Whalen's #MarinersST so far: 13 IP, 19 K.
He had it all working yesterday. pic.twitter.com/9CtRM6TpO7
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 14, 2018
Whalen retired before the 2019 season, citing his battle with anxiety and depression as his reason for stepping away from baseball. He pitched to a 5.75 ERA in his 36 big league innings with the Braves and Mariners. Whalen is still only 26 years old and has multiple seasons with sub-two ERAs in the Mets minor league system.
He is now back where his career began and was a Mets fan growing up, which fits the traits of multiple other Mets. Whalen is not overpowering with his four pitches. His fastball sits in the low-90s, and he relies on his slider as his out pitch. Whalen also features a curveball that he threw more with the Mariners along with a change-up. He has a tough road to a big-league roster, but it is very encouraging to see him winning his battle with anxiety and depression.