Mets Give Reliever Tim Peterson A Look

The other Peterson in the Mets organization is showing potential, too.

Not to be confused with 2017 first-round lefthander David Peterson, righthander Tim Peterson impressed team officials with his approach after arriving in the big leagues on May 30.

The Mets called up the 27-year-old reliever from Triple-A Las Vegas, placing him on the 40-man roster for the first time, to help restock a depleted big league bullpen. Thrown immediately into the mix, Peterson allowed one run over his first 4.1 innings with four strikeouts.

But Peterson’s bulldog attitude is most appreciated by team officials in search of answers for a bullpen that was among the worst in the major leagues heading into June.

“He attacks the strike zone and the hitters,” Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “He doesn’t shy away from contact. He competes.”

The Mets’ 20th-round pick from Kentucky in 2012, Peterson traveled the slow road to the majors. It took until his fifth season to receive a real opportunity above the Class A level. 

“He’s not a power pitcher, so he has to do a little bit more to get an opportunity,” Eiland said. “Not that it’s fair, but that’s the way the industry is.”

Peterson throws his four-seam fastball at 90 mph, well below the major league average of 93. He compensates by changing speeds and moving batters off the plate.

After spending most of last season at Double-A Binghamton, where he pitched to a 1.14 ERA in 41 appearances, Peterson had an impressive stint in the Arizona Fall League. In seven appearances, he pitched to a 0.87 ERA and 0.77 WHIP.

That success carried over to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, where Peterson pitched to a 3.45 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 23 appearances for Las Vegas this season to earn his promotion to the big leagues.

Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia carried the Mets’ bullpen early in the season, but options were thin behind that trio. It has left Peterson with an opportunity to show he belongs.

“He controls the running game well and fields his position,” Eiland said. “He changes speeds well and pitches inside. He does everything you would want a pitcher to do.”

>> Las Vegas first baseman Dominic Smith, the organization’s first-round pick in 2013, began playing the corner outfield posts at Triple-A. After spending two months in the big leagues last season, Smith was supposed to compete for the Mets’ starting first base job with Adrian Gonzalez in spring training, but he missed most of the exhibition season rehabbing a quadriceps injury.

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