The New York Mets have optioned relievers Tyler Bashlor, Tim Peterson, and Daniel Zamora to minor league camp this morning, leaving the team with 36 players left at the big league camp.
The three players cut today were competing to earn a spot in the bullpen. With Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman guaranteed to make the Opening Day roster, and with Luis Avilan all but a virtual lock at this point, the team has one opening left to fill. Kyle Dowdy, Ryan O’Rourke, and Hector Santiago will continue to compete for that final spot.
Of the three, Peterson appeared to have the best shot at potentially earning his way onto the team, as he posted five shutout innings with seven strikeouts to start the spring. His performance prompted Mickey Callaway to say “some of the other guys probably need to take note,” but Peterson couldn’t continue to build on his strong start. In nine appearances, he allowed five earned runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts in 8.1 innings. Peterson finished last season with a 6.18 ERA in 27.2 innings for the Mets.
Bashlor allowed six earned runs on 15 hits while striking out three in 10.2 innings this spring after pitching to a 4.22 ERA and 5.44 FIP in 32 innings for the Mets last season. Zamora, on the other hand, had solid numbers in limited work last season — a 3.00 ERA and a 2.38 FIP in nine innings — but he allowed seven earned runs in just 6.1 innings in Grapefruit League action.
O’Rourke, who hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2016, has had the best numbers this spring and could be positioning himself to grab that final spot. In 9.1 innings, O’Rourke has given up two earned runs while striking out ten. In yesterday’s outing, he pitched around two walks to complete a scoreless eighth inning.
Dowdy — whom the Mets selected 11th overall in the Rule 5 draft last December — came into spring training as one of the favorites to make the team given his recent uptick in velocity, but he has failed to impress so far. In 7.1 innings, he’s been charged with six earned runs on seven hits while striking out three. If Dowdy is not kept on the 25-man roster for the entire season, the Mets will have to offer him back to the Cleveland Indians and risk losing him for good. Santiago — who has allowed seven earned runs on eleven hits while striking out 12 in 6.2 innings of work — will start today’s split squad game against the St. Louis Cardinals.