The Mets announced on Wednesday morning that they have sent five players to minor league camp. Right-handed pitcher Ben Rowen and outfielder Travis Taijeron were re-assigned, while middle infielders Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini as well as right-handed pitcher Erik Goeddel were optioned.
The difference is that the latter three players are on New York’s 40-man roster. Rowen and Taijeron were non-roster invitees. It’s worth noting that despite not having any big league success on his resume, the 28-year-old Rowan was solid in Grapefruit League action for the Mets, as he accrued a 1.93 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in nine-and-one-third innings pitched. He’s had success in the minors with various organizations and could crack New York’s bullpen over the summer if he’s able to handle the harsh conditions of Las Vegas.
Goeddel has had a much rougher spring training compared to Rowan, but the UCLA product is closer to the 25-man roster since he’s had success with the Mets before. During his rookie season of 2015, Goeddel had a 2.43 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, but those numbers jumped to 4.54 and 1.32 respectively last year due to an increase in walks and home runs allowed.
Even with David Wright expected to start the season on the disabled list, Reynolds and Cecchini are slated for Triple-A Las Vegas, but we could see one or both in the majors this spring if the Mets suffer another infield injury or if T.J. Rivera isn’t cutting it as a bench player.
Of the five players cut, Taijeron is the least likely to see big league time this year despite his solid play at Triple-A during the past two campaigns. The Mets already have a glut of outfielders on the team that could force Michael Conforto to start the season in Las Vegas, so Taijeron will have to keep patiently slugging away until an opportunity presents itself.