Adding Vic Black to the Byrd/Buck Dump Is Quite Nice

In addition to picking up Dilson Herrera, a nice second base prospect, for Marlon Byrd and John Buck, the Mets added RHP Vic Black, a former supplemental first round pick who’s basically ready to step right into the team’s bullpen. This is a nice pickup as well. The Mets added potentially, six years of Black in the bullpen and a potential league average 2B for the cost of one month each of Byrd and Buck and a little cash.

Black made his big league debut this past July, and lasted four innings over three outings in the Pirates’ very good bullpen. He struck out three and walked two.

Go ahead and pencil him in for a spot in the Mets’ bullpen next year. Per Brooks Baseball, “he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (97mph), also mixing in a Curve (83mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (84mph) and Sinker (94mph). “

Visually, his repetoire is represented at right.

He’s been excellent over the minors’ top two levels this year in AAA and last year in AA. In Indianapolis this year with the Pirates, he’s fanned 63 and walked 21 batters in 46.2 innings. That’s a strikeout rate of 33% and a walk rate of 11%. Walks have always been an issue for Black, he issued free passes to 12% of opposing batters in 2011 in the SAL.

Based on game logs, I believe that I saw Black throw to eight batters in the SAL in 2011, yielding four hits and a two walks, with a strikeout. I would be lying if I told you I remembered much about that outing.

Black missed almost all of the 2010 season with shoulder problems which he discussed obliquely here.

In a classic Spring Training piece, he attributed a velocity gain to yoga. Hey, it’s possible. The Mets’ Noah Syndergaard thought off season yoga helped him get ready for this year.

The Pirated drafted Black with the 49th pick in the 2009 draft out of Dallas Baptist University. The Mets took a flyer on Black late, in the 41st round in 2006, but he did not sign, a wise financial move.

Does adding Black make the Mets-Pirates trade lopsided? Hardly. Black was not going to slip into the Pirates’ bullpen and throw important innings for them in 2013. If Byrd or Buck deliver a big homerun in October to help the Pirates win a game or even a playoff series, Pittsburgh can be very content. And when Black is throwing in the bullpen in Queens in 2014 and beyond and Herrera heads to Port St. Lucie to start 2014, the Mets too can be pleased.

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