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Mets may want to think about moving Sean Reid-Foley to a permanent relief role

BUFFALO, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07: Sean Reid-Foley #54 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Sahlen Field on September 07, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 07: Sean Reid-Foley #54 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Sahlen Field on September 07, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. The Blue Jays are the home team and are playing their home games in Buffalo due to the Canadian government’s policy on coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
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Sean Reid-Foley is of the arms the New York Mets picked up in the Steven Matz trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The 25-year-old righty has spent most of his professional career as a starter, but made all five of his 2020 appearances out of the bullpen.

In this limited sample size, Reid-Foley posted a 1.35 ERA across 6.2 frames. It’s hardly enough to completely give up hope on him becoming a starting pitcher in the big leagues. However, based on his previous numbers as a starter, it might be time for a permanent change.

The Mets have a lot of starting pitching help in the majors and minors. They brought in multiple pieces this offseason to compete for a job this year and beyond. Reid-Foley is certainly a contender but maybe one of the arms further down the line.

Sean Reid-Foley loaded up for a Mets relief role feels right

As a professional, Reid-Foley has done two things consistently. He strikes out batters at a high rate. He also walks them far too often.

Control has been a major issue of his. The strikeouts are there, lending to some hope that mastering this major hiccup could translate into a much better career down the line.

We know the Mets could have yet another open spot for a starter as soon as the 2022 season. Depending on whether or not Marcus Stroman and/or Noah Syndergaard return will say a lot about Reid-Foley’s chances.

In the immediate future, it’s quite clear how the Mets can use him. He’s either going to stay in Syracuse keeping his arm stretched out or shift into a relief role down in Triple-A in preparation for a full-time gig as a reliever. Keeping him stretched out for a “just in case” moment does make a lot of sense. However, if he does end up with the big league club, I don’t foresee it being in a role other than relief.

The question then becomes whether or not Reid-Foley can quickly transition from pitching 5+ innings a night every fifth day to throwing just one frame every two or three nights. Every pitcher responds differently to the kinds of workloads they may have. In Reid-Foley’s case, I’m curious to see if the Mets even bother believing he has a future in a major league rotation.

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At his young age, there is time to figure things out. This year’s plans may not go ideally. The important thing is that he pitches well regardless of the types of innings he’s throwing.

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