Mets Ready To Give Powerful Stephen Ridings A Look

Righthander Stephen Ridings spent most of 2022 dealing with injuries that limited him to two appearances in the Yankees’ minor league system.

In November, the Mets claimed the 27-year-old reliever on waivers.

Ridings’ fastball can touch 100 mph, and his new organization sees him as a low-risk, high-upside option for the 2023 bullpen.

“Stephen has electric, powerful stuff,” Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said. “A carry heater with a shorter slider that has the potential to miss a ton of bats.”

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Ridings made his major league debut with the Yankees in 2021, when he appeared in five games and pitched to a 1.80 ERA with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Before he got to spring training last season, Ridings dealt with lower back soreness. Later, he had a nerve issue in his shoulder.

Ridings was drafted by the Cubs in the eighth round in 2016 out of Division III Haverford outside Philadelphia, but he had Tommy John surgery before he could make his debut.

A native New Yorker, Ridings spent three seasons in the Cubs organization before being traded to the Royals during spring training in 2019. Kansas City released him after the 2021 season.  

That offseason, Ridings began working out at Eric Cressey’s high-performance training facility in Florida and saw his velocity jump from 94-95 mph to 97-100. Ridings signed with the Yankees, who moved him to the bullpen.

He appeared in 22 games combined for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2021 before getting the call to the major leagues in August.

The Mets have plenty of holes to fill in their bullpen, so Ridings could receive a long look in spring training if he is healthy.

“He’s had some injuries that he’s dealt with, but when he’s been active it has been great,” Hefner said. “So building the strength foundation this offseason is paramount to allow him to be in position to contribute throughout the season.”

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