Mets Sign Scott Atchison

The Mets have signed reliever Scott Atchison to a minor-league deal and invited the righthander to spring training.

Atchison spent 2012 with the Red Sox, posting a sparkling 1.58 ERA and 0.994 WHIP in 42 games and 51 innings. So how is it the Mets were able to get a pitcher with those kind of numbers on a minor league deal? Because Atchison was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament in mid-July. He did not have Tommy John surgery, instead opting for rest and therapy, and he returned in mid-September, pitching effectively in five ballgames. Does that mean he’s healthy? Maybe, maybe not. Without surgery, there’s the risk of tearing the ligament completely, and at 36 years old, Atchison is no spring chicken. It’s a good risk for the Mets — if Atchison remains healthy, they should have an effective middle reliever, and if he blows out his elbow, well, all they gave up was a spring training invite. See: Boof Bonser, Taylor Buchholz, Taylor Tankersley.

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. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Don O'Brien January 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    I agree, it looks like a good signing. I’ve knee PCL and ACL tears and meniscus tears, and recovery times were a matter of months. But I guess Tommy John elbow surgery means a year or more of rehab and recovery. I guess that’s why he didn’t go the surgery route.

    His 1.58 ERA in 51 innings was great.

  2. Don O'Brien January 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm
    I agree, it looks like a good signing. I’ve had knee PCL and ACL tears and meniscus tears, and recovery times were a matter of months. But I guess Tommy John elbow surgery means a year or more of rehab and recovery. I guess that’s why he didn’t go the surgery route.

    His 1.58 ERA in 51 innings was great.

  3. Kanehl January 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm
    Boof Bonzer and Taylor Tankersly. Two of the best sports names ever.
    • NormE January 30, 2013 at 12:11 am
      Clyde Klutz!
  4. Izzy January 30, 2013 at 7:01 am
    So the Mets have fallen so far behind the rest of big league clubs that fan excitement revolves a round a minor league sign. Met fans should hate Selig. He rewarded Dodger fans with real ownership, and punished Met fans for years and years more of Wilpons.
  5. DaveSchneck January 30, 2013 at 10:05 am
    The more the merrier. Time to ink the beard.
    • Izzy January 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm
      If your thing is minor league players, there are lots of minor league teams all over the country. And guess what, unlike the Mets they actually don’t charge a lot to see their minor leaguers play.
  6. DaveSchneck January 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm
    Izzy,
    My thing is the NY Mets, the pursuit of world series championships, and the pursuit of making the team as good as it can possibly be at all times so long as it does not unreasonably harm future teams. So, I would be all for the Mets putting out ST invites to anyone on the planet that can throw a ball so as to have the best possible chance of assembling a bullpen that helps the team win. Inviting Atchison and signing the beard fall in line with this thinking. Remember, RA Dickey fit the your description of “minor league player” when he was invited to Mets camp, and your namesake did pretty good a couple of years ago as well with this type of invitation.