Hansel Robles had an impressive rookie campaign in 2015, and he was able to avoid a sophomore slump last season. He continued to use his mid-90s fastball, along with a changeup and slider, to make batters miss to the tune of a 9.9 K/9. Of concern, is that he walked too many batters (4.2 BB/9) and saw his WHIP rise 32 points from 2015. Robles also endured a disastrous stretch in August in which he allowed 12 walks and 15 runs in 15 innings. He recovered from that with an impressive final month of the season, though, and outside of a few bad outings, there wasn't much to complain about. The righty was especially effective against lefties, holding them to a .179 BAA, though a .281 average against righties made for a reverse split. Robles appears in line to take on more high-leverage situations in 2017, although he remains behind Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed in the pecking order for saves.
Robles struck out two in two shutout innings during Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros. The 26-year-old with the career 10.0 K/9 in the majors is expected to fill a setup role for the Mets this season, which could mean regular eighth-inning duty early in the year while Jeurys Familia serves his expected suspension. Robles stands an excellent chance of topping the 13 holds he recorded in 2016, giving him value in formats that use the category.
Robles will head into 2017 as one of the Mets' top setup men alongside Addison Reed. The 26-year-old is coming off a mostly outstanding 2016 campaign, although he did fade late -- 14 of his 28 earned runs on the season came during a nine-game stretch in August. He will likely see most of his action in the seventh inning, making him more valuable in formats that reward holds, but if Jeurys Familia gets suspended due to a domestic violence incident in October, Robles could see some save opportunities while Familia is out.
Robles has allowed 13 of the 27 earned runs he has allowed in 60.1 innings this season in his last eight appearances, spanning 9.1 innings. Robles was cruising until August 3, posting a 1.61 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 28 innings over 21 games. However, since August 2, the wheels have fallen off, as Robles has struggled with his command and control, leaving too many pitches in the heart of the plate while also walking 10 in 9.1 innings. He still is manager Terry Collins' main seventh inning option, though he could lose that job to Jim Henderson, who recently returned from injury.
Robles tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth inning to pick up the victory in the Mets' 2-1 win over the Cubs on Tuesday. Robles has been lights-out since June 2, posting a 1.99 ERA, lowering his mark to 2.76 on the season. Manager Terry Collins uses his bullpen extensively and Robles has earned a substantial amount of trust since his call up last season with his fine performance.
Robles took a ball directly off the calf in Tuesday's game, but should be OK going forward, ESPN's Adam Rubin reports. He was down on the ground after taking the comebacker Tuesday, but he was able to walk off under his own power. Manager Terry Collins predicted Robles would be sore Wednesday, but would be OK to pitch in the near future. He gave up two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out two in two innings before exiting Tuesday.