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Mets’ young arms have been underrated part of early season success in 2022

Mets have gotten major contributions from rookie relievers like Adonis Medina and Colin Holderman
New York Mets relief pitcher Adonis Medina celebrates after striking out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Will Smith to end the game in the 10th inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 5, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Mets won 5-4. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

When the 2022 baseball season started, the Mets were expected to trot out Seth Lugo, Trevor May, and Chasen Shreve as important pieces to the team’s bullpen. 

However May was lost for most of the year, Shreve was recently DFA’d and Seth Lugo has struggled as a set-up man. 

Yet with the Mets at 51-31, and in first place in a crowded NL East, New York’s bullpen has never been stronger. While not the dynamic force that the Astros or Yankees have thrown out, the  Mets currently hold the league’s 11th best bullpen. 

While a rotating cast of characters has helped keep New York afloat with the absence of Max Scherzer, and Jacob Degrom, it has been the young rookies that have shouldered the burden and have helped get the Mets to where they are now. 

There was no clearer example than Wednesday night’s 8-3 victory over Cincinnati. 

With starting pitcher David Peterson leaving the game in the fourth inning, the Mets called on Adonis Medina and Colin Holderman to save the rest of the bullpen. 

They did not disappoint either. The entire Mets bullpen threw 6.1 innings of scoreless ball while only giving up one run and one walk. The combination of Adonis Medina, Colin Holderman, Adam Ottavino and Edwin Diaz struck out nine batters. 

Medina went three innings of relief and only gave up one hit with four strikeouts. His performance kept New York in the ballgame and ultimately helped the Mets win the game. 

In 11 games, Medina has thrown 21 innings and has recorded an ERA of 3.00. But outside of a 5 earned run at Colorado, the rookie has an ERA under 1.00. Medina’s heroics have helped the Mets numerous times throughout the 2022 season. 

Medina recorded his first career save when he came in the bottom of the 10th to retire the Dodgers heart of the order and even a tough series for New York. Even then, manager Buck Showalter knew he had something special working with the young right-hander.

“Billy (Eppler) and our scouting department have always liked him,” Buck said back in June. 

Medina has rewarded the Mets for their confidence in the young reliever. In his last seven outings, he’s allowed just two earned runs in 13.1 innings (1.35 ERA). He’s allowed zero runs in eight of his 11 appearances this year. 

Adonis Medina isn’t the only young reliever brimming with confidence. After the right hander was pulled in the bottom of the seventh inning, Colin Holderman came in and threw an inning and a third of perfect relief. 

Holderman has been a revelation for the Mets this season. In 12 appearances, the rookie has a 2.63 ERA. Holderman has come off the disabled list due to right shoulder impingement and hasn’t given up a run in his two outings since. 

Both Holderman and Medina have come in to settle what was a crowded and dysfunctional bullpen over the first few months. While both are in their first full season as major league pitchers, the two right-handers have shown excellent composure when brought into high leverage situations. 

Mets have decisions to make

While Medina and Holderman have both been excellent in relief this season, with starting pitcher Chris Bassitt expected to return to the starting line-up, one of the rookie’s is most likely expected to be sent down. 

While Medina is one of the main players to watch, he’s not worried about where he pitches next. 

“I don’t have any control over that. The only thing I can control is to go out there, get the ball whenever it’s given to me, get outs and that’s what I’ve been doing” Medina said after the game.

Whether Medina is sent down when Bassitt returns or not, both of the Mets’ rookie relievers have done their part to help the team win ballgames and be a highly contributing asset to the club. 

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