When the Mets traded Steven Matz to the Blue Jays, the name Sean Reid-Foley was the name that popped out to many among the return. Reid-Foley, a former second round draft pick, had already made 21 appearances, including 13 starts, fro the Jays at the time of his trade to the Mets, but there are still a lot of question marks about who Reid-Foley is, and who he can be for the Mets.
Reid-Foley’s slider is his best pitch, and he often can dazzle with it, but his control has never been quite good enough to properly utilize the pitch. With a career 6.0 walks per inning - a rate that has increased each year of his major league career - Reid-Foley simply hasn’t limited baserunners well enough.
Most of Reid-Foley’s professional career has come as a starter, with only a few relief appearances under his belt. In 2020, he exclusively worked out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays, and saw his fastball velocity increase a tick, from 92.5 to 94.4 mph. This also saw Reid-Foley limit his pitch repertoire, throwing just three pitchers - a four-seam fastball, changeup, and slider - last season, eschewing his sinker and curveball. While he gave up only on earned run in six and two-thirds innings pitched, he walked six batters in that time. He also struck out six in that time, making his relief experiment a tough one to really grade.
If Reid-Foley is going to make the big league club this year, it seems likely that it will be as a relief pitcher, though it seems likely that he will remain a starter in Syracuse and also act as rotation depth for the Mets. While things have gone quite wrong if Reid-Foley is getting starts any earlier than September, he does represent very valuable depth for the organization. A player of Reid-Foley’s pedigree being the eighth or ninth starting pitcher on the depth chart shows a commitment to building a club that can withstand an injury or two without turning to players that either aren’t fully developed or really don’t belong in the majors.