Each year at 213 we look through the Non-Roster Invitees to spring training and get to know them a bit. Are they in camp to get a look at big league hitting/pitching to aid their development? Are the Mets just trying to get a better look at a future rookie? Are they a veteran trying to get back to the major league level? What can we expect from them this season?
The Mets signing Jerad Eickhoff feels like forever ago. It was the start of the off-season and the Mets were desperate to fill out back up options for the rotation, at that point there were so many questions for the rotation both in Queens and Syracuse. So the Mets got Eickhoff.
The long time Philly was actually with multiple teams last year. He signed as a free agent in December 2019 with the Padres. He was granted free agency in August in 2020 and a few days later and signed with the Rangers, the team that drafted him in 2011. (He was also drafted in 2010 with the Cubs but didn’t sign). Eickhoff made it to the Phillies in a 2015 deadline day trade with the Rangers for Cole Hamels (there are a lot of players involved in this trade). Jerad makes a splash immediately and posts a 2.65 ERA. 146 ETA+, 3.25 FIP and a 1.039 WHIP in 8 starts and 51.0 innings in 2015. Statistically, things get progressively worse for Eickhoff in his career. Ended in 2019, his last major league season, where he pitched in 12 games, made 10 starts, with a 5.71 ERA, 6.51 FIP, 1.303 WHIP and a 78 ERA+. His ERA+ was over 100 only in 2015 and 2016.
Worth noting – he’s been amazing against the Mets in his career over 8 starts and 10 games with 56.0 innings posting a 2.41 ERA and striking out 58 batters.
So now Eickhoff is a Mets where at least he can’t do damage on another team against the Mets! Most likely he doesn’t factor into the Mets major plans for this season. As of writing this article, Lucchesi and Yamamoto are the most likely pitchers battling for the fifth rotation spot. Eickhoff is battling for where he fall in the depth chart. Also, there’s always the possibility that if he pitches well this spring but doesn’t make it on the roster that he asks for a release so he can sign with another team (something the Mets famously didn’t let happen with Devin Mesoraco, tanking the Mets reputation as a good faith employer).