The New York Mets could use another lefty in the bullpen. The perfect man for the job is the Irishman, P.J. Conlon.
Without the benefit of a 90s fastball, in a bandbox stadium in Cincinnati, he kept hitters off-balance and cruised. He even got his first base hit and unfortunately jammed his thumb in the process. He wasn’t able to grip the ball the same and wasn’t able to get the win.
His composure was excellent and looked like he belonged. His family cheered him on, and Ireland was never shown off better at a baseball game. Because Jacob deGrom is returning after missing only one start, Conlon was demoted so there could be another arm for the bullpen.
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Corey Oswalt was promoted once again. When deGrom returns this weekend, Oswalt should stay, Hansel Robles should be DFA, and there needs to be a plan to have Conlon return as a second lefty in the bullpen.
Jerry Blevins has done a great job relieving for the Mets since he was acquired for Matt den Dekker. He had a slow start this year but has returned to form. Conlon has a similar repertoire of pitches and could be a valuable weapon in the bullpen for more opportunities.
Conlon attacked the hitters by throwing a lot of strikes, which is the perfect recipe for bullpen arms. A relief pitcher has to throw strikes and throw them consistently. I believe Conlon can do that and will wind up a valuable piece for this team. His batting average in the minors was .250, which actually is higher than Jose Reyes and both catchers, so he could even pinch-hit if necessary.
The Mets are going to have to think outside the box if they think they can play winning ball with so many holes. There was a lot of talks this spring about multi-tasking, which is why Conlon fits so well.
Rather than trade for overpriced underachieving veterans, why not use some of your prospects in opportunities to succeed? Corey Oswalt should be destined for the rotation eventually and Conlon should be in the bullpen.
All that could change if Jason Vargas struggles mightily in his third start since returning from the DL. If Vargas fails again, perhaps Conlon could replace Vargas in the rotation. To free up room, Vargas goes to the pen.
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Only time will tell, but it’s nice to know the Mets have another viable option to turn to.