Josh Edgin is getting another chance with the New York Mets, and it’s crucial for his team and himself that he make the most of it.
Edgin has frustrated the Mets in his 68 major league starts. He’s a big, hard-throwing lefty who has shown the ability to strike batters out and keep left-handed batters at bay. But he’s been prone to long stretches of ineffectiveness as well.
In 2012, he held lefties to a .591 OPS and posted an overall 10.5 K/9 ratio. He came into the 2013 season as the Mets’ primary lefty specialist de facto. But Edgin was torched in April, including by a span of four straight outings in which he allowed nine earned runs, which led to his demotion to Triple-A. When he returned, he pitched much better. From June 11 to July 29, he had a 0.93 ERA despite striking out only 10 batters in 19 innings and walking eight. He then went down with an injury, and missed the rest of the season.
He was ineffective in Spring Training again this year, and started the season in Las Vegas. He has truly ugly numbers in the Pacific Coast League, which include 11 walks in 12.1 innings, and a 2.13 WHIP. But the Mets have seen signs of improvement in him lately.
Las Vegas manager Wally Backman says he’s throwing his fastball in the high 90s range and getting more downward movement on his breaking ball. Edgin has been working with pitching coordinator Ron Romanick on a few adjustments, including standing taller, and setting up on the first base side of the pitching rubber.
The Mets could use Edgin to help them get lefties out. Scott Rice, New York’s primary lefty specialist, has been perfectly serviceable against lefty batters, especially lately. But as a team, left-handed hitters have had a .770 OPS against Mets pitching. Edgin could really help the Mets in that area, and in doing so, he could really help himself.
Edgin is 27 years old. By that age, most major league teams know what to expect from a player. As a result, Edgin’s latest chance with the Mets is vital to his future. The fact that he is a hard-throwing lefty certainly helps his value, and as such, he’ll probably get more chances in the major leagues if he fails this time. But probably not with the Mets.