Mar 12, 2016

2015 NL Champion Mets Relief Pitcher: Hansel Robles (2015-2016)

Hansel Manuel Robles was born August 13th 1990 in the Dominican Republic. The five eleven right handed reliever was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets during the Omar Minaya era, in 2008.

Robles pitched two years for the Mets in the Dominican Summer League before arriving in the Appalachian League with the Kingsport Mets in 2011.

In 2012 Robles was 6-1 with a league leading 1.11 ERA  on a strong Brooklyn Cyclones (45-11) staff and began getting noticed. The Cyclones finished second that year and lost in the semifinals to the Hudson Valley Renegades.

He spent 2013 with the Gulf Coast Mets & the St. Lucie Mets as well as pitching in the Arizona Fall League. In 2014 he began as a starter with AA Binghamton but struggled until he was turned into a reliever. There he began to thrive; he ended up going 7-6 striking out 106 batters in 110 innings although his ERA was over four. In 2015 he began the year at AAA Las Vegas going 1-0 in just five games before getting the big league call up.

On April 24th Robles made his debut coming in relief of Sean Gilmartin in an early edition of the annual subway series. With two on & nobody out he gave up a single, then with the bases loaded & no one out he got Mark Teixiera to pop out & he struck out Brian McCann & Carlos Beltran.

From there he began to see action in the mid to later innings in relief, he has a good fastball, good confidence & shows no fear on the mound. At the end of May he suffered a blown save & then a loss on May 30th to the Miami Marlins.

In June he quickly started adding up holds, earning five of them.

On June 15th he gave up an 11th inning run in an extra inning game at Citi Field against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mets came back with RBI singles from Lucas Duda & a walk off hit from Wilmer Flores giving him his first win.

In July he earned his second win, it came in Los Angles against the Mets NLDS opponents, the Dodgers. In August he was seeing action mostly in the 7th inning, although he earned a win on August 1st in D.C. against the Nationals he blew two saves later in the month.

It was later that month he threw a somewhat now famous quick pitch in Philadelphia to Darin Ruf, fueling a Phillies team, most notably coach Larry Bowa.

The Mets swept the series & had been beating up on the Phils all year; the quick pitch did not help matters.

In late September Robles would get suspended for three games for intentionally throwing at the head of Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp. The pitch came after warnings had been issued in a wild game at Citi Field.
Mets batters Kirk Nieuwenhuis was hit by a pitch & as well as Mets star hitter Yoenis Cespedes. All Mets fans & players took a deep breath after the pitch hit Cespedes on the wrist, x rays were negative & he was ok.

Mets pitcher Logan Verrett plunked Phillies Odubel Herrera in retaliation & the warnings were issued. Robles was ejected after his pitch, tempers flared but no fights broke out. Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud did a fine job in cooling the situation.

That month Robles notched five more holds & was credited with a win in Miami. He finished the year at 4-3 with 12 holds 61 strike outs in 54 innings posting a 3.67 ERA. He allowed 18 walks but an alarming 8 HRs in that time.
At times he was brilliant but there is still a learning process as he has only pitched in 57 career games. Mets broadcaster Ron Darling said he is still a thrower & not yet a pitcher. But with his fastball & confidence, his future looks good.

Post Season: On October 10th, Robles appeared in Game #2 of the NLDS loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He struck out two batters in one inning pitched.

He made two appearances in the World Series as well. He pitched two innings & did not allow any hits or runs. In Game #4 he finished out the game, as he struck out two Royals in the Mets 5-3 loss to Kansas City. at Citi Field

No comments: