Three days into 2013 and it seems like a good time to start diving into Spring Training Previews because it’s baseball and I’m over winter. Hansel Robles is 5’11″ right-handed pitcher who is 22 and currently in the Mets farm system. The Mets signed Robles in 2008 as an internal league free agent. He’s been in the Mets farm system for 4 seasons now and was added to the Mets 40-man roster in November this past year. During his time with the Mets he put up the following numbers:
2012 (Brk): 6-1, 12 GS, 72.2 IP, 1.11 ERA, 66 K, 10 BB, 0.784 WHIP
2011 (Kingsport): 3-1, 0 GS, 15 G, 37.0 IP, 2.68 ERA, 42 K, 16 BB, 1 SV, 1.189 WHIP
2010 (DOSL): 3-3, 14 G, 12 G, 1 SV, 67.0 IP, 3.09 ERA, 51 K, 13 BB, 1.149 WHIP
2009 (DOSL): 5-4, 15 G, 9 G, 58.2 IP, 2.91 ERA, 60 K, 16 BB, 1.074 WHIP
Just by looking at his numbers, it looks like he took a giant step forward in his last year. Having a full season as a starter, he not only put an incredible ERA, but his WHIP was out of world. Before 2012, I would say that Hansel would have slotted as a reliever if anything but after last year it looks like the Mets must consider him as a starter at least for a bit.
Now the Mets are still looking internal options for the pen, so it is conceivable that they may try Robles as a reliever at a higher level later this year. But if his stuff is as good as his numbers suggest (or as this impressive article about him suggests), then the Mets are going to want to make sure that Robles gets a lot of time on the mound.
In this climate at looking at 2014 and 2015, Robles longterm fits into the Mets plans as a reliever. Having a good amount of arms that appear good will be extremely important next offseason if the Mets look like they are ready to make a serious push to contender status.