The New York Mets made a flurry of roster moves Thursday, headlined by signing veteran reliever Brad Brach. The Chicago Cubs released him on August 5th after a nightmare season. In 42 games he had a 6.13 ERA and walked 28 batters in 39.2 innings, after multiple good years.
We have signed free agent RHP Brad Brach. In order to make room on the 25-man roster, Donnie Hart has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. In addition, Brandon Nimmo has been transferred to the 60-Day IL. #Mets pic.twitter.com/mbrrLon9JM
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2019
This is a low risk move that couple pay off in a major way for the Mets. Judging by his ERA and walks this season, he would fit the mold of the June Mets bullpen. Diving deeper into the numbers shows a FIP of 4.13 which is lower than Steven Matz. His 10.2 K/9 is on par with the past years in his career.
How Can Brach Improve?
Pitching coach Phil Regan has played a major role of getting the Mets pitching staff back on track and they hope he does the same with Brach. He was one of the most consistent relievers in all of baseball during his time with the Baltimore Orioles and half a year with the Atlanta Braves in 2018. He pitched at least 60 innings, was an All-Star in 2016 and only had one year with an ERA above 3.50.
Phil Regan on his way to fix Brad Brach pic.twitter.com/ohP8s2vSDq
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 8, 2019
Just based on his pedigree, he might have needed a change of scenery to reclaim his past success. At worst, Brach deepens the Mets bullpen as a useful seventh man and if he reaches his potential he will pitch key innings down the stretch. Teams not too long ago were fighting to acquire Brach. If he turns his season around, along with Edwin Diaz, the Mets all of a sudden have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Brandon Nimmo To The 60-Day IL
Donnie Hart was optioned to Triple-A after only one scoreless inning with the Mets. Brandon Nimmo was sent to the 60-day IL to open up a roster spot for Brach. Nimmo has been out since May 20th with a neck injury and has not performed in any baseball activities since June 18th. He had a breakout 2018 season and had high expectations this year, but has become an after thought now.
Brandon Nimmo's rehab from a bulging disk in his neck has taken longer than expected because of other physical issues that popped up at various points. But he is working out, and there is optimism he might begin a minor league rehab assignment within the next week.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 8, 2019
The Mets hope Nimmo can resume baseball activities soon, but neck injuries are right below concussions in terms of how careful it has to be handled. The Mets miss from Nimmo’s defense as a true outfielder, compared to J.D. Davis and Dom Smith. They have replaced his hitting, but adding him back to the roster along with Smith deepens what is currently an anemic bench.