WASHINGTON — Brad Hand’s remaining determination final winter got here all the way down to signing with the Nationals or Mets.
The lefty reliever, who had been positioned on waivers by the Indians as a part of a cost-cutting transfer after which granted free company, in the end accepted a one-year cope with the Nationals price $10.5 million. However he labored out at Nationals Park on Friday sporting the uniform of the staff he jilted.
Hand was claimed off waivers by the Mets on Thursday after he was designated for task by the Blue Jays, who had acquired him from the Nationals on the commerce deadline. Hand was obtainable out of the bullpen in what each he and the Mets hope will likely be a fruitful one-month marriage. As anyone added to the roster after Aug. 31, Hand can be ineligible for the postseason ought to the Mets qualify.
Hand was truly returning to Nationals Park for a second time this season with a unique staff. He pitched there for the Blue Jays on Aug. 18.
“It has been a loopy month for positive, however I’m pleased to be right here and simply assist any approach I can,” Hand stated earlier than the Mets’ 6-2, 10-inning victory over the Nationals.
Hand, who didn’t pitch within the Mets’ win, will present the Mets with a second lefty reliever, a luxurious they’ve largely lived with out this season. The staff’s major possibility, Aaron Loup, entered play with a 1.18 ERA.
Hand’s season hasn’t been as environment friendly. In 11 appearances for the Blue Jays he posted a 7.27 ERA. With the Nationals, he appeared in 41 video games and pitched to a 3.59 ERA.
“Clearly it hasn’t been nice,” Hand stated, referring to his season. “I form of had outings the place I felt good after which outings the place it wasn’t clicking or stuff wasn’t proper, however I used to be truly capable of get some work prior to now couple of days in Florida, so I bought off the mound the previous few days. Well being-wise, every part feels good and feels proper. I simply haven’t been capable of get within the groove and get issues rolling.”
Hand’s troubles have come principally throwing his sinker, towards which opposing batters have produced a .512 slugging share.
“I feel he brings lots of worth right here,” supervisor Luis Rojas stated. “It is a man who has been among the finest closers in baseball the final couple of years and for us it’s a luxurious that he’s right here and he can pitch in a unique inning than the ninth and be one other weapon as a lefty, like Loupy has been.
“We’re conscious of the latest struggles. I feel it’s been a mixture of issues and among the issues have been errors within the zone — in all probability a pitch that he would wish to execute in-zone and it’s being left over the plate the place a batter can take a greater swing towards him.”
The 31-year-old Hand’s greatest seasons got here with the Padres and Indians, leading to three All-Star appearances from 2017-19. Hand stated he was wanting ahead to reuniting with Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, his Cleveland teammates from 2018-20.
What does Hand see within the Mets, who started play 5 video games behind the Braves within the NL East?
“I feel early they handled lots of accidents — form of the entire yr they’ve handled lots of accidents,” Hand stated. “However I’m wanting ahead to becoming a member of the ballclub and see the place every part performs out.”