Mets reliever Vic Black has elected to become a free agent, according to multiple reports on Saturday. If he has indeed pitched his last game in Flushing, he will go down as one of the more recent Mets player disappointments.
The Mets acquired Black along with Dilson Herrera from the Pirates for John Buck and Marlon Byrd in late August 2013. He made his Mets debut in September and impressed everyone with his electric fastball. In 15 appearances, he went 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.
He was expected to be a big part of the bullpen in 2014, even mentioned as a possible future closer. Instead, he did not make the team out of spring training. He finally came up to the bigs in late May and pitched well. In 34.2 innings over 41 games, he struck out 32 batters and pitched to a 2.60 ERA.
He came down with shoulder tendinitis in the spring of 2015, then suffered a groin issue during his rehab. He never did make it back to the majors, going 1-6 with a 5.94 ERA at three minor league levels. In 36.1 innings, he struck out 34 batters but also walked an alarming 30.
Vic Black’s fall was quick and shocking, going from a major piece of the bullpen to a minor league failure to a free agent. Perhaps the injuries took their toll, and he will come back as strong as ever in 2016 and fulfill his promise. Or maybe he’s just lost it.
It would not be a surprise if the Mets signed Vic Black to a minor league deal to see if he’s got anything left. If not, someone will likely take a chance on him. Hopefully, he is not done as a major league player. Plus, he was always fun on Twitter!