The Mets have chosen to exercise an option on left-handed reliever Jack Leathersich and sent him down to minor league camp this afternoon. Leathersich was considered an unlikely candidate to break camp with the major league club.
Leathersich was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason after rising through the Mets' system while posting gaudy strikeout totals. However, the strikeouts were coupled with high walk rates, holding Leathersich back a bit and limiting his short-term value. He split the 2014 season with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, where he posted strikeout rates above thirty percent, but also posted walk rates over ten percent, including 16.7% at Triple-A. This spring training was more of the same, as Leathersich struck out four and walked five over 4.2 innings. With such high walk totals, it was expected he would return to the minor leagues, so this news isn't much of a surprise.
After Josh Edgin's Tommy John Surgery and now Leathersich's demotion, the underwhelming group of left-handed relievers in major league camp now comprises Sean Gilmartin, Scott Rice, and Dario Alvarez. Duane Below, a minor league signing from the offseason, will also receive a shot at the job.