Out of all the left-handed relievers the New York Mets had in spring training this year, who would have thought Scott Rice would end up being the best? Not only has Rice been the team’s most reliable lefty out of the bullpen this season, but his story is also one of the best in all of Major League Baseball.
Rice had high hopes for his career as a first-round draft pick all the way back in 1999. But after that, he spent the next 14 seasons in the minor leagues without getting to throw one single pitch in a major league game. He spent time in so many different organizations and played for so many different minor league teams.
A weaker man would have given up. But this year, all of Rice’s perseverance finally paid off as he narrowly edged fellow lefty Robert Carson for a spot in the Mets bullpen.
On opening day, Rice finally made his major league debut. Of course, since he made his debut, Mets manager Terry Collins hasn’t stopped using Rice. He has been the Mets most used pitcher, appearing in over half of their games, and he’s arguably been their most effective reliever, with an ERA under 2.00. He’s been more than just a lefty specialist as he’s had plenty of success against right-handed batters, as well as success while pitching multiple innings.
Of all the left-handed pitchers the Mets had in spring training this year, few expected him to make the team, much less be their best lefty reliever. But that’s what has happened, and the Mets couldn’t be more pleased with what they’ve gotten out of him this season. If only the same could be said for the rest of their bullpen.