That’s right — the Mets have chosen to “bolster” their bullpen with a man sporting a 5.77 ERA.
Good luck with that.
The Mets traded Anderson Hernandez to the Nationals for Ayala, who in 62 games and 57 innings this season has allowed 63 hits, 22 walks, and struck out 36. He has a 1-8 record, no saves, 4 blown saves, and 19 holds. Bright spot: he’s allowed just 6 homeruns in those 57 frames, so one every nine or ten innings.
So why did the Mets give up someone with a pulse for this train wreck?
First is the fact that Ayala stinks. His numbers are similar to those of Guillermo Mota’s 2007 — minus the high strikeout totals. Would you trade AHern for Mota?
Second, Ayala is seventh in the NL in appearances with 62. We’ve established that the Mets bullpen is exhausted — why in the world would Omar Minaya acquire another worn-out arm?
The reasoning the trade must be this: Ayala was really good a few years ago, and is a “Minaya guy”. He started out in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but was plucked by Minaya in the Rule 5 draft prior to the 2003 season. It turned out to be a genius move, as he went 10-3 with a 2.92 ERA as a rookie for the Expos. Ayala sported a svelte 2.69 ERA in 81 games under Minaya’s watch in 2004 as well.
Problem is, those years of glory came when Ayala was young and strong — his best years came during ages 25, 26, and 27 (no surprise there). As you might have remembered, Ayala blew out his elbow during the World Baseball Classic, and underwent Tommy John surgery, ending his 2006 season. He missed the first two months of last year while continuing to rehab, before returning and pitching fairly well — 3.19 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 28 Ks and only 12 BB in 42 IP.
This year, Ayala has been awful, and getting worse as the season wears on — he has a 6.97 ERA since the All-Star Break.
Hold on to your seats, friends. We may soon be reading about the acquisitions of Sammy Sosa, Wil Cordero, Tomo Ohka, and Sunny Kim as Minaya stubbornly attempts to re-create past history.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.