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 Phil Bickford.
Player Review: Phil Bickford
Los Angeles Dodgers: 36 Appearances, 42.0 Innings Pitched, 2-3 Won-Loss Record, 5.14 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 3 Holds, 1 Blown Save, 48:26 K:BB Ratio, .235 Batting Average Against, -0.2 WAR
New York Mets: 25 Appearances, 25.1 Innings Pitched, 3-2 Won-Loss Record, 4.62 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 1 Save, 1 Hold, 28:13 K:BB Ratio, .221 Batting Average Against, 0.0 WAR
Story: Phil Bickford began 2023 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen looking to recapture his solid 2021 form, when he pitched to a 2.50 ERA in 56 appearances. Things didn’t go well in Los Angeles for Bickford, who pitched to a 5.14 ERA in 36 appearances before being designated for assignment in late July.
The New York Mets took a flier on Bickford, trading for him and Adam Kolarek in exchange for cash considerations to add major-league caliber arms to their bullpen after moving a few relievers during the trade deadline. Bickford was a part of the Mets’ bullpen for the rest of the season and pitched reasonably well, working to a 4.62 ERA and improving drastically by September, where he worked to a 0.84 ERA in 12 appearances.
Bickford was serviceable for the Mets down the stretch and his September improvement salvaged what would have been a disastrous grade.
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (First Time)
Odds Of Returning: 50%
2024 Role: Middle Reliever
The strong finish might be helpful for Bickford’s chances of sticking with the Mets, who need as many capable relievers as they can find. Bickford does have four years of club control remaining but is out of minor league options already, which means if the Mets keep him around they’d have to commit to Bickford as part of their bullpen or risk losing him on waivers. Incoming President of Baseball Operations David Stearns is also familiar with Bickford, who was a Milwaukee Brewers’ draft pick in 2015 and made his big league debut with the club before Stearns waived him in 2021. The lack of options could play against Bickford, who Stearns may cut if he needs his 40-man roster spot for another player.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at relief pitcher Jeff Brigham!