Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mets Acquire OF Tyler Naquin & Reliever Phillip Diehl From Reds


Tyler Naquin. Picture courtesy New York Mets.

The Mets made their second big move ahead of the trade deadline (the first was acquiring slugger Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates), as they acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed relief pitcher Philip Diehl from the Cincinnati Reds for minor league outfielder Hector Rodriguez and minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Acuna. The Mets also designated RHP R.J. Alvarez for assignment.

This move serves two purposes, as Naquin gives them more outfield depth, and not have to rely on using Jeff McNeil in left field anymore, and Dom Smith and J.D. Davis largely serve as designated hitters and first baseman when they play; and Diehl could become a reliable lefty out of the bullpen, as Joely Rodriguez has been sporadic, and David Peterson, who did a fine job in  the starting rotation but was moved out of that role with Max Scherzer's return, can't be trusted in high-leverage spots, as Wednesday night against the Yankees showed, when he walked Anthony Rizzo and then gave up a game-tying home run to Gleyber Torres in a game the Mets went on to win 3-2.

Naquin is a seven-year veteran who played the first five years of his career with the Cleveland Indians (2016-20), and was teammates with current Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, before joining the Reds in 2021.

This season, Naquin is hitting .246 with seven home runs and 33 RBI in 56 games, with a .305 on-base percentage and a .444 slugging %, and he also has 13 walks, 53 strikeouts (nearly one per game), 12 doubles, two triples. Against righthanders, he is slashing .266/.335/.476 this season.

Last season, in 127 games with the Reds, Naquin hit .270 with 19 homers and 70 RBI, with the HR and RBI numbers career-highs (it was his third-highest batting average, as he hit /296 in 2016 and .288 in 2019. For his career, in 507 games, his slash line is .266/.335/.476 with 56 home runs and 222 RBI.

Diehl was originally drafted by the Yankees in 2016, and he made his major league debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2019, and pitched there for two seasons. This season, with Cincinnati, Diehl has appeared in five games, and has thrown 5 2/3 innings in which he has allowed seven runs (all earned) on eight hits and three walks, with three strikeouts.

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