Having an established, reliable left-handed reliever is something the Mets lacked throughout 2022 and desperately needed to address this offseason. The addition of Brooks Reilly fills that void in a big way.
Acquired in a December trade with Tampa Bay, Reilly had a breakout season at age 34 last year with a career-high 2.68 ERA in 53 2/3 innings. Notably, he held left-handed hitters to a .155 batting average in 71 at-bats, though his numbers against righties (.208 batting average against) suggest he’s more than just a lefty specialist.
What made Reilly so effective was his ability to induce soft contact; according to baseball savant, he ranked in the top ten percent of the league in lowest strikeout rate, highest chase rate, and lowest on-base percentage. The recipe for success was his slider, which he threw 38 percent of the time; on average, it had an 18.5-inch layup, 73 percent better than the league average.
Reilly’s style of play is a nice complement to the up-tempo offense that permeates the rest of the Mets’ pitching staff. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll regress a bit next season since he didn’t have much success until 2022. But the Mets got a chance when the Tampa Bay reliever retired just two years ago, and if Reilly comes around. anywhere close to what Aaron Loup did for the Mets that year, this move would be a steal.