Dario Alvarez a likely September call-up when rosters expand

Dario ALvarez


One of the weakest areas of the Mets roster throughout the entire 2015 season has been in left-handed relief, specifically in their ability to get left-handed hitters out routinely.

The Mets did acquire LHP Eric O’Flaherty earlier this month, but he has only retired five of the 11 left-handed hitters he’s faced so far with the Mets. But his tests have included facing more than one batter, specifically right-handed hitters, and he is not effective in either of those scenarios.

On Monday evening, Sandy Alderson told Mike Puma of the New York Post it was unlikely the Mets would be able to find relief help in general on the trade market, as the quality of the talent that has cleared trade waivers is not appealing, as expected.

So it seems likely the Mets will pursue all avenues from within to try and improve their situational relief options.

One of those players could be LHP Dario Alvarez when rosters expand to 40 players, and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Alvarez is likely to earn a promotion at that time.

Alvarez makes the most sense. First off, he’s on the 40-man roster, a place where real estate is very thin at the moment considering they’ll soon need to make room for both Erik Goeddel and David Wright, and the 40-man roster is totally full with not very much maneuverability available.

Second, Alvarez has proven very effective against left-handed hitters with Triple-A Las Vegas this season, holding the left side to a .119 average, suggesting he is at least capable of getting it done at the big league level.

Some have suggested the Mets take a look at Josh Smoker, who is tearing up the Eastern League with the Binghamton Mets this season.

He’s a left-handed fireballer who has absolutely torn up the Eastern League since being promoted from Single-A St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton. He has notched 22 strikeouts with only four walks in 15 2/3 innings for the B-Mets.

But there are a couple of problems with Smoker.

For one, he’s raw, as he only got to Double-A in early July.

The other problem is, he has reverse splits – he’s held right-handed hitters to a .193 average, and left-handed hitters to a .255 average.

So, while Smoker’s arm is appealing, he’s not an ideal candidate to come in and be the left-handed specialist they need him to be right now.


Just a thought from “left field”- Why are starting pitchers allowed to face batters from both sides but relievers are not? A good pitcher is a good pitcher to both sides. This almost out of control strategy just doesn’t seem right to me. What do others out there think?


PLEASE stop using irrelevant split stats. First of all, single season split stats for relievers are nearly meaningless. The handedness of a pitcher, along with arm slot information, is much more predictive of future splits. Secondly (and relatedly), these splits you’re quoting are not reflective of his actual performance. Smoker has had a higher strikeout rate, lower walk rate and a lower home run rate vs. left-handed batters. His splits are due to BABIP flukes.

You’re getting closer to making useful analytic insights. It would help a lot if you stopped quoting all meaningless split numbers.


Ah, apologies. I was wrong about the strikeout and walk rates, but the point still holds. Smoker’s difference in splits is almost entirely due to variances in BABIP, and you should never use single-season reliever split stats. Never.


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