Will he get cheered tonight at Citi? Will anyone be there to cheer?
He threw the first Mets complete game shutout in Citi Field history, and because of that he thought it was his right to continue to be a Met for life. Here was his scouting report from spring training, and his updated stats at the end.
Nelson Figueroa- #27
36 years old (36 in May)
9th Major League Season
6'1" 180 pounds
Bats R/Throws R
The Good: A local guy (from Brooklyn) who grew up as a Mets fan. Throws an upper 80s fastball, which he mixes in with cutters, sinker, curves, sliders and change-ups. Just hopes to win a guessing game with the hitter. Threw a 4-hit shutout on the last day of the season vs the Astros to lower his ERA by 1/2 a run (to 4.09 ERA).
The Bad: A 35/6 year old journeyman who doesn't have over-powering stuff, and had a 1.48 WHIP last year.
He got picked up off of waivers by the Phillies in April, and was then picked up from waivers by the Astros in July. He's appeared in 21 games (only 1 start for the Phillies), but he has pitched great in the 11 innings for Houston. His K/9 is over 10 and he has yet to walk a hitter for the Astros; he has a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in the small sample size for Houston. He faced the Mets twice back in May with the Phillies and got bombed the first outing (1 inn, 3 runs), but rebounded for a 1, 2, 3 inning the next one.
One change he has made since being with the Mets and the Phillies is that he's decreased his slider use to 22% from 30%, and increased his curve-ball to 21% from 10%. His best pitch this year has been his fastball.
When he faced the Mets 10 days ago, he lasted only 5 innings, let up 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. His last start versus the Marlins he went 6 innings, allowed only 1 run and 5 base runners, while striking out 7.
He will be all fired up tonight to once again show the Mets, the team he grew up rooting for that he is good, but in the end he's a fringe major leaguer who is 36 years old.