When Mets reliever Erik Goeddel struggled to get a feel for throwing the changeup, he did what many others have done. He ditched it for a splitter.
As a result, Goeddel could be on the brink of moving up in the Mets' bullpen hierarchy.
"He's done very well," manager Terry Collins said before the Mets' 14-1 thrashing of the Brewers. "We're going to start using him in a little bit higher-leverage situations because we think he's a guy who can get a strikeout when you need it."
Goeddel, 26, tossed two scoreless innings Saturday night. But with a bullpen that has been thinned by injuries, Goeddel could find himself in more pressure situations. It's a challenge he's open to accepting.
"I'm not particularly looking for anything like that," he said. "But if it gets me in the game more often, then sure, yeah."
In 13 appearances, Goeddel has yet to allow a run in 111/3 innings. He has a scoreless-innings stretch of 161/3 innings dating to September.
While pitching last season for Triple-A Las Vegas, Goeddel said he discovered sharper command of all of his pitches, particularly his fastball. That allowed him to set up his curve and splitter. It has become a dangerous weapon, generating a remarkable 36 percent swing-and-miss rate.
Said Goeddel: "My fastball command improved just enough so when I miss, I just miss off the plate instead of over the middle."
The Mets' 13-run margin of victory was the team's largest since June 27, 2012, when they hammered the Cubs, 17-1, at Wrigley Field. The team's 14 runs and 16 hits also set season highs.
Dillon Gee (groin), Bobby Parnell (elbow), and Vic Black (shoulder) appeared Saturday night in a rehab game with Class A Port St. Lucie. Gee allowed one run and six hits in four innings, struck out seven and didn't issue a walk. Black and Parnell each allowed a run in one inning.
Prospect Brandon Nimmo will be sent to New York on Sunday to have his left knee examined. He left Friday's game with Double-A Binghamton when he awkwardly stepped on first base after legging out an infield hit . . . David Wright is expected to resume baseball activities on Monday, a week after he was expected to get back on the field. He has been sidelined with back soreness after initially going on the DL with a strained hamstring.
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