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 conclude the series today with a look at relief pitcher Josh Walker.
Player Review: Josh Walker
Minor Leagues: 21 Appearances, 29.1 Innings Pitched, 2-2 Won-Loss Record, 1.84 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 1 Save, 1 Blown Save, 1 Hold, 40:13 K:BB Ratio, .181 Batting Average Against
Major Leagues: 14 Appearances, 10.0 Innings Pitched, 0-1 Won-Loss Record, 8.10 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 1 Hold, 12:6 K:BB Ratio, .286 Batting Average Against, -0.5 WAR
Story: Josh Walker entered spring training looking to make an impression on the Mets’ coaching staff after advancing three levels in the minor leagues in 2022. The Mets didn’t have a spot for Walker in the Opening Day bullpen so they assigned him to AAA Syracuse, where he got off to a hot start and earned his first trip to the big leagues in mid-May.
That initial appearance saw Walker toss a scoreless inning in his big league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays but led to a few more trips on the Syracuse shuttle before a more extended stay in early June. Walker was a middle reliever that had some success but played a part in the Mets’ worst loss of the season, giving up three runs without recording an out against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 25th, earning him a ticket back to the minors the following day.
The Mets brought Walker back up for a brief appearance in late July before a more permanent audition in August after several openings on their pitching staff emerged following the trade deadline. Walker was up and down again before straining his right oblique in mid-August, ending his season after just 14 appearances.
The overall numbers don’t look pretty for Walker but he did flash some potential during his earlier appearances in the season.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds Of Returning: 100%
2024 Role: Depth Reliever
Walker is an organizational success story after making the majors as a 37th-round pick in 2017 and holds value as a pre-arbitration reliever with minor league options remaining. Expect the Mets to have Walker work with their new pitching lab to try and refine his stuff in order to compete for a role in the big league bullpen in spring training. The odds are stacked against Walker making the Opening Day roster but he should have plenty of opportunities to contribute in 2024 due to the natural volatility of big league bullpens.
Stay tuned to Metstradamus for more offseason coverage of the Mets!