One of the more underreported stories for the New York Mets has been the surprising return of relief pitcher Tim Byrdak. Byrdak had emerged as one of the Mets' best left handed specialists last season before suffering a torn capsule in his pitching shoulder in the second half. Byrdak, 39, could have easily called it quits instead of facing an arduous year of rehab. Byrdak, however, decided to come back and his return has been a nice story for the Mets.
Byrdak faced the same shoulder surgery that Johan Santana has undergone twice, and elected to come back with the Mets on a minor league deal. Byrdak spent the majority of the season rehabbing with the team's minor league affiliates, and finally got a chance to return to the major leagues on September 1st. Since then, Byrdak has had spot work coming out of the bullpen as a left handed specialist again, and due to a rash of injuries Byrdak and fellow lefty Pedro Feliciano have become the lefty specialists for the Mets.
Byrdak has appeared in three games with the Mets and has a 6.75 ERA in three appearances, but the numbers aren't as important to Byrdak's story. Byrdak has shown that he can pitch in the major leagues again, and it was nice of the Mets to give him an opportunity to show what he can do this month. It remains to be seen if Byrdak's career will extend beyond this season, but Byrdak should continue to progress as he gets more outings under his belt. Byrdak could be a nice low key signing for the Mets in the offseason, and he could provide solid veteran insurance for the Mets behind Scott Rice and Josh Edgin next season. Either way, Byrdak's comeback is one of the nicer stories to watch for the Mets in the last few weeks of 2013.
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