Overshadowed by the announcement that Rafael Montero would be replacing Jenrry Mejia in the starting rotation (with Mejia headed to the bullpen), was the announcement that Jacob deGrom‘s start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday will be skipped so he can be on “standby” to join the Mets bullpen.
Feb 26, 2014; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets Jacob deGrom poses during media day at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that deGrom, who has been working as a starter, may join the bullpen in the coming days.
In seven starts for Las Vegas spanning 38 innings, deGrom posted a 2.58 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. He allowed 39 hits, walked 10, and struck out 29.
With Mejia headed to the bullpen and Montero about to be added to the 25-man roster, calling up deGrom would necessitate two 25-man roster moves.
Unless the Mets plan to play short on the bench, they’ll be swapping out two current members of the bullpen.
With the starting pitching depth the Mets have at the major league and minor league level, deGrom shifting to the bullpen doesn’t come as a surprise.
Aside from the fact that the Mets are loaded starting pitching wise, is that deGrom’s stuff should play up in a relief role. His fastball – that usually sits in the low-90s and touches the mid-90s – should spike upward in a relief role.
If deGrom is added to the bullpen, it would leave six other spots. It seems that along with Mejia and deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Scott Rice and Carlos Torres are locks to remain with the Mets in the bullpen. If Gonzalez Germen, who is currently ill, doesn’t land on the disabled list, the Mets would have one spot left for three relievers.
The relievers who are potentially on the outside looking in are Jose Valverde, Kyle Farnsworth, and Daisuke Matsuzaka – none of whom figure to be with the Mets after 2014 anyway. Cutting bait with any or all of them at this point shouldn’t be an issue.