Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at relief pitcher John Curtiss.
Player Review: John Curtiss
Minor Leagues: 18 Appearances, 21.1 Innings Pitched, 1-2 Won-Loss Record, 7.17 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 2 Blown Saves, 2 Holds, 21:10 K:BB Ratio, .286 Batting Average Against
Major Leagues: 15 Appearances, 19.2 Innings Pitched, 0-0 Won-Loss Record, 4.58 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1 Blown Save, 2 Holds, 16:8 K:BB Ratio, .236 Batting Average Against, 0.1 WAR
Story: After spending the 2022 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, John Curtiss entered spring training healthy and ready to compete for a job in the Mets’ bullpen. Curtiss did make the Opening Day roster but didn’t make a strong impression in April, getting sent down to AAA Syracuse on the 21st as he became a frequent flier on the Syracuse shuttle. The Mets promoted and demoted Curtiss three more times over the course of the year as he made two appearances each in early May, mid-June and early August. Things took a bad turn for Curtiss after his final demotion as an MRI revealed a loose body in his pitching elbow, resulting in season-ending surgery.
Curtiss was a perfectly average bullpen arm for the Mets who was seemingly more valued for his ability to be optioned to the minor leagues than for his ability to get hitters out. Adding a new injury to the mix certainly didn’t help Curtiss’ case to be a part of the 2024 roster.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Second Time)
Odds Of Returning: 40%
2024 Role: Middle Reliever
Stop if you’ve heard this one before: Curtiss is yet another middle reliever on the Mets’ 40-man roster with arbitration eligibility that new President of Baseball Operations David Stearns will have to make a decision on. The benefit to Curtiss is that he does have three years of team control left and has the highest ceiling of any arbitration eligible reliever thanks to his successful run as a set-up man for the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins in the past.
Stearns actually traded for Curtiss in 2021 but the Brewers non-tendered him after the season when he needed Tommy John surgery, which allowed the Mets to sign him to a two-year deal. A year further removed from the surgery should benefit Curtiss’ potential to recapture his form from 2020 and 2021, but the fact that he had another elbow injury this year is a detriment. When you add in the fact that Curtiss is out of minor league options the lean here is towards a non-tender so the Mets can utilize his 40-man roster spot more effectively.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Edwin Diaz!