Righthander Chris Flexen may not have been ready for the major leagues in 2017, but he received the kind of education that isn’t available riding busses.
With the depleted Mets in desperate need of a healthy arm, they called up 23-year-old Flexen directly from Double-A Binghamton on July 27. He spent the final two months of the season on the major league roster.
In 14 appearances (nine starts), Flexen went 3-6, 7.88 with a 2.02 WHIP.
“Obviously I didn’t have the greatest success, but it’s been a tremendous experience,” Flexen said. “I have learned a lot along the way, having a little taste of success and being able to know I can compete at this level.”
A major league talent evaluator said Flexen could emerge as a potential back-end-of-the-rotation option for the Mets with more seasoning, but it may be unrealistic to deem him anything more.
“All of his pitches are average right now,” the evaluator said. “Nothing stands out.”
Flexen recognizes the need to add a wipeout pitch and said he will work to improve his slider this winter. His other primary pitches are a fastball in the 93-94 mph range, a changeup and a high-spin curveball.
A 14th-round pick in 2012 from high school in California, Flexen—who is listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds—began this season at high Class A St. Lucie before receiving a promotion to Binghamton on May 31. In seven appearances for Binghamton he went 6-1, 1.66, prompting his callup to a team that lost Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo for extended stretches this season.
Flexen moved to the bullpen for most of September and had control issues, walking six batters in 6.1 innings.
“I will definitely try to get a wipeout pitch, a strikeout pitch,” Flexen said. “It could be a slider, just throwing it in the dirt when needed.”
NEW YORK MINUTES
• Jack Voigt was fired as the hitting coach at Triple-A Las Vegas after spending three seasons in that role. His dismissal was the first of the “major” changes general manager Sandy Alderson said were coming at the Triple-A level.
• Terry Collins, who stepped aside as Mets manager on the final day of the season, will remain in the organization as assistant to the general manager and have a role in player development.