Relief pitcher Vic Black came into the New York Mets organization filled with a lot of hope that he would one day become the next big bullpen option for the team. He came from the Pittsburgh Pirates with a ton of potential since he was young and had considerable success in their minor league system. Fast forward to his first spring training with the Mets, and it turned out perhaps it was more hype than reality at the moment.
Black had one of the worst performances for the Mets in spring training and has been demoted to their AAA-Las Vegas minor league team. There he can work out the kinks needed to hopefully earn a spot back on the Mets’ main roster sometime this year. Throughout spring training, he didn’t have control over his pitches and lost some velocity on his fastballs. He ended at a 5.79 ERA in 10 appearances for the Mets in the Grapefruit League which was shocking to most within the organization.
Despite having a horrible spring, it’s in Black’s best interest to take this demotion with positivity instead of looking at it as a negative step down. In the minors, he can work on controlling his pitches and getting more time in to fix his techniques without the New York spotlight on his every throw.
It will be an interesting story to follow all season long to see if Black can live up to his potential. While the Mets have viable bullpen arms going into Opening Day, things can change at a moment’s notice.
A player like Black needs to be ready when the opportunity comes because it could come faster than most think. It looks more like a mental issue rather than ability as he’s most likely thinking too much on the mound. Once he works out the mental aspect of it all, he should be on his way back to the majors and eating up innings.
All it takes is time and patience, both of which Black has.
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