The Mets signed Greg Burke on 11/7/12. He is a 30 year old righthander with only one season of MLB experience to his credit – 48 games for the 2009 San Diego Padres.
But wait…He’s a sidearmer! He pitched at AA/AAA for the Baltimore Orioles last year and saved 17 games. He posted a 1.53 ERA. He demonstrated excellent command with a 2.09 BB/9.
Who does that sound like? Terry Leach.
Leach had only amassed 42 major league innings pitched by the age of 30. Leach didn’t really become a full-time major leaguer until 1987 when at age 33 he went 11-1 in 44 games for the Mets.
Both Leach and Burke had to reinvent their pitching motions: Leach because of injuries and Burke because he wasn’t effective enough using a regular motion.
Burke is now on the Mets’ 40-man roster. He is maintaining his dependability. After 15 innings in Winter Ball (the Mexican Pacific League) he is at a 1.15 ERA with 15 Ks and 0 BB.
Can Burke replicate Leach’s 1987 career-season? Well that’s a tall or