Despite enjoying one of the best starts in franchise history, the Mets may have trouble brewing. They atop the NL East, but have already sustained six injuries, five of them from pitchers. Terry Collins, Mets manager Terry Collins isn’t too concerned with the situation, citing Zack Thornton and a “few others” as possible cover for any further health concerns.
Hansel Robles, a Dominican Republican signed out of international free agency in 2008, was one of those called up Monday by the Mets in place of the freshly-injured Jerry Blevins who has been diagnosed with a distal radial fracture and is going to miss the next 6 weeks of play, at least.
Robles belongs to a talented group of global signings that included Luis Cessa, Miller Diaz, Eudy Pina, and others and has now spent time in every division of baseball possible. A combination of sub-par results with new players meant that Robles was relieved of his starting duties in 2014 and instead began transitioning into a mid-inning reliever, a role he relished, leading to an improvement in top-line and bottom-line numbers such as ERA and batting averages.
Robles has a solid fastball that registers in the mid-90s and has been known to hit 98 mph. Moreover, his action, a low three-quarter toss dependent more on arm motion than follow through, allows him to throw strikes easily. Alongside this is his slider and changeup, both pitches that register in the low-mid 80s. While his slingy action helps his faster stuff, that same action detracts from his off-speed stuff which lacks downward dip making his change the better option.
While Thornton and other viable options exist, they cannot claim to have put in as much time as Robles who has toiled for 8 years in a foreign land and even changed his playing position meaning he’s paid his dues and it is now time for his performance to speak for itself. Given the depth of the Mets’ dugout, Robles won’t have unlimited time to prove he belongs but having spent this long for this moment, one thinks he won’t need it.