With spring training games set to get underway on Friday, the Mets announced a handful of pitchers who are scheduled to appear in the team’s first three Grapefruit League games. Given the nature of spring training games, these won’t be the only pitchers who appear, but it’s always nice to know some of the names to expect when tuning in to an exhibition game.
Friday, 2/24, at Boston: RHP Seth Lugo and RHP Marcos Molina
Lugo is a familiar name for anyone who watched the Mets last year. Despite relatively low expectations, he had a 2.67 ERA in 64.0 innings with the Mets over the course of eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Molina is making his way back from Tommy John surgery and ranked fifteenth on our list of the Mets’ top twenty-five prospects for 2017. He’ll turn 22 years old on March 8 and last pitched in 2015.
Saturday, 2/25, vs. Washington: LHP Sean Gilmartin and LHP Jerry Blevins
Gilmartin and Blevins are known quantities at this point. After joining the Mets as a Rule 5 pick in 2015, Gilmartin had a 2.67 ERA in 57.1 innings working out of the bullpen and making one spot start that year. With the Rule 5 restrictions lifted after that season, he spent the majority of 2016 in Triple-A Las Vegas and had a 7.13 ERA in the 17.2 innings he spent with the Mets.
Blevins has been with the Mets since they traded Matt den Dekker to the Nationals for him just before the 2015 season began. While he threw just five innings for the Mets that year before breaking and re-breaking his arm, he returned on a one-year deal for 2016 and put together a 2.79 ERA and a 3.05 FIP in 42.0 innings over 73 appearances. He signed another one-year deal, this time with a team option for a second year, to be a Met again this year.
Sunday, 2/26, vs. Detroit: RHP Chris Flexen and RHP Paul Sewald
Flexen’s had some prospect buzz in his time in the Mets’ organization and ranked twenty-first on our top twenty-five. Here’s what Greg Karam had to say about him:
Flexen had a weird year in 2016. He had mediocre strikeout and walk rates, a mediocre ERA, but also stayed healthy and threw a career high 134 innings. I expected more from him given his mid-90s fastball and solid curveball, but I may have set the bar too high for a guy coming into his first full season following Tommy John surgery. He’s done enough to earn the right to start the season in Double-A Binghamton, where we’ll have more access to see him and where he’ll be just a stone’s throw from the majors.
Sewald spent the entirety of his 2016 season in the bullpen with Triple-A Las Vegas and had a 3.29 ERA despite pitching in that extremely-hitter-friendly environment. A reliever throughout his minor league career, he had an impressive season with Binghamton in 2015, too, and figures to get a shot in the Mets’ bullpen this year when a need arises.