With the very low probability of LHP, Jerry Blevins returning, it is without question the Mets could use an extra relief pitcher. Manager Terry Collins can’t only rely on Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia to ensure some late inning quality.
For a large portion of the offseason, many had speculated that Jay Bruce would be traded – the Mets would, in return, receive at least one relief pitcher. The speculations began to dwindle down as many of the possible teams for Bruce signed a number of other slugging outfielders. Any hopes of a possible trade were debunked on January 24 due to an article by the NY Post indicating the Mets had informed Bruce he will likely remain with the club to start the season.
According to ESPN’s Adam Rubin, the Mets have invited LHP, P.J. Conlon to spring training. Since being drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, Conlon has posted some superb numbers: he is 12-3 with a 1.47 ERA. In fact, he was also named Mets’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2016. All of this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because he ended his three years at the University of San Diego with a 22-7 record and a 2.84 ERA.
One reason to not immediately count on Conlon is that he hasn’t pitched any further than A-ball. Making the jump from there straight to major league spring training will be quite the leap. He may surprise the organization and make the Opening Day club, or this may only be his first taste of big league experience. With this in mind, there are still a number of reliable free agent relief pitchers out there, but Conlon is certainly someone to keep an eye on this spring.
Regardless of how they do it, the Mets are seemingly looking for bullpen help. The Mets’ young aces aren’t going to go out and throw gems day-in and day-out, so with strong bullpen depth, Collins could feel a little more confident when having to put a game in their hands.