4 pitchers with the best chance to make a climb on the depth chart during spring training

Will any of these pitchers take advantage of their innings in the spring and climb the depth chart?
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Spring training will offer a first look at some newcomers to the New York Mets organization as well as some returning ones. Several prospects have been invited to the MLB camp and while significant changes to the projected Opening Day roster are unlikely with the exception of an injury, there’s a chance for guys to move up or down the depth chart.

Looking at the pitching, there’s a lot of incentive to make a good first impression. Several of the starting pitcher options are about even with each other. The slew of minor league reliever signings plus those climbing up the farm system ranks need to use spring training as a time to separate themselves from the competition.

It’s these four pitchers who have the best chance at making a climb this spring.

1) Jose Butto

Until late last season, Jose Butto was not a personal favorite. Still doubtful he’ll amount to anything more than a fifth starter, Butto was strong enough at the end of 2023 to add some hope for the future. About to embark on his age 26 season, it could be a chance for him to climb up the depth chart and pass the likes of Joey Lucchesi and Tylor Megill as a starting pitching option.

Butto didn’t have a good year in Triple-A last season. In 19 starts he went 3-7 with a 5.93 ERA. He still managed to make it to the big leagues out of necessity. Overall, in 7 starts and a pair of relief appearances, Butto would go 1-4 with a 3.64 ERA.

There are aspects of his game Butto needs to improve. He walked almost 5 batters per 9 at the major and minor league level last season. His strikeout rate was identical at each at a very average 8.1 per 9.

An eventual transition to the bullpen seems the best course for the Mets to take when they deem Butto MLB-ready. He still has value as a starter, but envisioning him in a major league rotation on a competitive team is a bit of a stretch. Spring training will be his shot for at least this year to become the first pitcher the Mets turn to in case of an injury to a starter or maybe even a bullpen arm.