For Joe Mantiply the main goal is to get back to the place that tastes so good. That place is the major leagues. In 2016, Mantiply had his first and only opportunity in the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers. While it lasted just a short amount of time, it built confidence in Mantiply to know that he has potential to make an impact on a major league club.
Confidence in yourself is paramount for any aspiring professional athlete, but when the general manager of your organization has it in you, it shows that you belong. “He’s a soft-tossing situational lefty that I know that people were coming up to me saying, you snookered us when you claimed him off waivers,” Cashman said in a story written by Brenden Kuty.
Mantiply is exactly that, a situational lefty who is capable of spinning a curveball to get a hitter to chase. So far this year Mantiply has appeared in 15 games with 13 of them coming out of the bullpen. He has pitched to a 2.93 ERA in 27.2 innings. Oddly enough he has better splits against righties than lefties. Right-handers hit .257 against him, while lefties hit .310
“I think I have been alright. Not as good as I would like. I have been a little inconsistent at times, but I think overall it has not been terrible.”, said Mantiply. “I have been working on consistently throwing off-speed for strikes. My breaking ball is why I am here. Most of my tough outings I have not been able to throw my breaking balls for strikes.”
Mantiply may see a bit of a bigger role with the loss of Ernesto Frieri and the constant shuttle that has seen Giovanny Gallegos, Ben Heller, and Domingo German go up and down from Moosic to the Bronx.
“I am happy for those guys. I was fortunate enough last year to get a taste of the big leagues. I am here trying to get guys out and get my shot,” said Mantiply.
With the RailRiders bullpen being in a state of flux with guys coming and going, manager Al Pedrique just wants to see his guys step up and do the job.
“The key for them is to understand is that when you are in Triple-A, anything can happen. For them to be ready regardless of situation, regardless of how many guys we have available.”, said Pedrique. “They know they are going to get the chance. They will get the ball, and we have full confidence that we have enough in the bullpen that when we are losing guys and have guys that come in, they should be able to get the job the done.”
While Mantiply’s end goal is the same as everyone else’s in the room, to make the big leagues, him being left handed does give him a bit of an advantage. Mantiply is scheduled to start the second game of a doubleheader in Buffalo on Saturday but his future out of the bullpen. For his dream of making it back to the big leagues he will need a little luck, but he will also have to get lefties out at a better clip.