In an effort to make sense of the Mets’ bullpen options heading into 2014, I’ve assembled what should be a fairly comprehensive list of the relief pitchers who have at least a reasonable chance to start the season on the Mets’ 25-man roster in 2014. The pitchers are sorted into four categories: "Locks" (players guaranteed to make the team), "In the Mix" (players who still need to prove their value to the team), "New Guys" (recent acquisitions), and "Long Shots & Depth" (younger farmhands who might not be ready to make the team). Each pitcher is listed with his age on Opening Day 2014.
Today we’ll look at some of the new guys who will be competing for spots in spring training.
Here's the rest of the series:
Joel Carreño, RHP, Age 27
Through 2012, Carreño had posted pedestrian minor league numbers as a starting pitcher. The Blue Jays switched him to the bullpen, and in 2013 he had an excellent season across Doubel-A and Triple-A. John Sickels from Minor League Ball said this about Carreno back in 2011:
"There's nothing wrong with his fastball, a 91-94 MPH pitch with some movement, but he needs to show more confidence in it and has trouble commanding it at times. He has an adequate changeup, but for the most part the fastball/slider combination is his mainstay."
That fastball/breaking ball combination worked well out of the pen last season, and may give him a legitimate shot at making the Mets’ bullpen this spring.
More On Carreno
Ryan Reid, RHP, Age 29
Natural ability is definitely not Reid’s strongest suit. He has a tailing fastball that induces a fair number of ground balls, and his slider induces swinging strikes with some regularity. With mediocre velocity and no third pitch, Reid will probably struggle against left-handed batters. Nevertheless, he seems like a strong ROOGY candidate, perhaps a slightly better version of Greg Burke—without the extreme sidearm delivery.
More On Reid
Miguel Socolovich, RHP, Age 27
With recent success pitching in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), and making progress in multiple Triple-A seasons, Socolovich hopes to finally break through this spring. His fastball ranges from 90–95 MPH and, like Reid, he looks to be very hard on right-handed hitters. With a slider and changeup at his disposal, Socolovich has interesting potential and could surprise some people in camp.
More On Socolovich