WASHINGTON, D.C. — Now that the dust has settled and it’s perfectly clear what the Mets did (and did not do) at the trade deadline, the team can move forward with integrating the new guys into their aspirational clubhouse.
To lean on an oft-used Buck Showalter phrase, the Mets will now look to get their arms around the two latest additions. Mychal Givens and Darin Ruf join earlier acquisitions Tyler Naquin and Daniel Vogelbach as the team’s prizes from an underwhelming, if logical, trade deadline harvest.
Mychal Givens – Relief Pitcher, Chicago Cubs
Familiarity seems to be a big part of this move, as general manager Billy Eppler shored up the bullpen with a Tuesday trade for one of Showalter’s best relievers from the Baltimore days.
There’s more to this move than just a reunion though. Givens is still a valid late-inning dude, but he’s not quite the same pitcher he was in his Oriole prime. Heading to the Mets with exactly 400 games of MLB service, the 32-year-old righty is experiencing a slight dip in velocity and has not inspired much confidence in his ability to get left-handed hitters out. The Mets only had to part with a Single-A pitcher to get him, though. Givens is also a free agent at the end of the year, so if the experiment doesn’t work, the club can easily wash their hands of him and move on.
Givens’ 2.66 ERA and 29.7% K-rate are still well above the 2022 league average for relief pitchers. His sidearm delivery makes him tough on righties, but lefties have been drawing walks and hitting home runs against him at an alarming clip. Look for Givens to be used as a medium-leverage reliever, one tier below the Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo group.
Darin Ruf – Designated Hitter, San Francisco Giants
Ruf has played over 150 innings at both left field and first base this season, but for the foreseeable future, he will be the Mets’ designated hitter against lefty starters.
A right-handed power bat, Ruf slugged .519 for the Giants during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. That number has shriveled up to .373 this year as his exit velocity and hard hit rates have sharply declined. Ruf, 36, is still a useful MLB hitter though. He posted a perfectly fine 105 wRC+ in 314 plate appearances for the Giants, but when facing lefties he’s got a .252/.364/.523 slash line and much more alluring 151 wRC+. If you’re wondering why the Mets would part with J.D. Davis — who is seven years younger than Ruf and had two more full seasons of club control — it’s because of Ruf’s outstanding numbers against southpaws.
“I was really happy to put Vogelbach and Ruf together,” Eppler said on Tuesday. “We feel we’ve been able to really add, using two roster spots, an impact bat.”
Tyler Naquin – Outfielder, Cincinnati Reds
Naquin had his best showing as a Met on Tuesday. In his third game with the club, he went 2-for-4 in their loss to Washington.
His best …read more
Source:: The Mercury News