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Mets non-roster invitees fighting for an Opening Day roster spot

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 08: The The New Era cap, Rawlings glove and Nike sunglasses of Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets in the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ball Park of the Palm Beaches on March 8, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 08: The The New Era cap, Rawlings glove and Nike sunglasses of Jay Bruce #19 of the New York Mets in the dugout during a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ball Park of the Palm Beaches on March 8, 2018 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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JUPITER, FLORIDA – MARCH 09: Corey Oswalt #55 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 09, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Corey Oswalt

With the recent news that Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco will miss the first several weeks of the season, Joey Luchessi is currently projected to be moved to the rotation to fill his role.

Originally, Luchessi was expected to be one of the “long men” out of the bullpen for the Mets, meaning now, there may be room for another reliever to break camp with the team.

While not the most glamourous role, a long man is an important part of any team’s bullpen, as he generally has one of the harshest work loads of any reliever, expected to frequently cover multiple innings and occasionally spot start.

New York does have a few options it could go with to fill that role, one of whom is non-roster invitee pitcher Corey Oswalt.

The right-handed Oswalt has been a member of the Mets organization since he was drafted by the club out of high school in 2012.

He’s has a few stints in the major leagues with New York since 2018, both as a starter and as a relief pitcher.

Most recently in 2020, Oswalt appeared in 4 games for the Mets, starting one of them, and logged a 4.85 ERA over 13 innings.

Although he was part of the 40-man roster to being 2021, he was removed from it back in February. However, the Mets retained Oswalt on a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training, giving him an opportunity to pitch his way back onto the major league team.

To this point, Oswalt has only appeared in 2 games, giving up 5 runs over 4.2 innings. While those aren’t great numbers, it is a small sample size and Mets’ skipper Luis Rojas has mentioned Oswalt by name as a player to watch.

Should he perform better in the final weeks of spring, Oswalt is definitely a contender to break camp with the team,  and with experience in the majors already under his belt, hopefully this will be a breakout year for him.

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