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Mets give bullpen trial to rookie Jacob Rhame

Acquired for Curtis Granderson, Rhame looks to nail down a spot in the Mets bullpen.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Spring Training Media Day Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Back on August 19th, the New York Mets traded veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later. On the 20th the PTBN was revealed to be right-handed pitcher Jacob Rhame, then pitching for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Rhame switched over to the Mets Pacific Coast League affiliate at Las Vegas to finish out the season, then was promoted to the major league roster for September.

The Dodgers drafted Rhame in the sixth round in 2013 from Grayson County Community College in Texas. He blitzed the Midwest League in 2014 with a 2.00 ERA and a 90/14 K/BB in just 67 innings, then had a solid year in Double-A in 2015. Moved up to Triple-A for ‘16 he posted a 3.29 ERA in 63 innings for Oklahoma City, with a 70/28 K/BB.

Rhame returned to Oklahoma City for 2017 and his ERA rose to 4.31 in 48 innings, although his peripheral stats remained strong with a 55/10 K/BB. After being traded to the Mets he was almost unhittable for Vegas with six innings, fanning 11 and giving up just two hits.

Listed at 6-1, 215, Rhame is 24 years old, born March 16th, 1993. He has no problems with arm strength: he hit 93-95 MPH in college and mechanical refinements in pro ball bumped that up a notch to 94-97. His secondary pitches are less reliable than the fastball; his slider and curveball come and go and his change-up is inconsistent, although all have improved since college. When he’s right he’s overpowering, although he has a consistent reverse platoon split pattern.

Rhame usually throws strikes and profiles well as a middle reliever. If his secondaries continue to progress he could be more than that someday.