Rule 5 pick Zach Greene looks Yankees-bound, other bullpen questions remain

Mar 3, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; Fans watch New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer
Mar 3, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; Fans watch New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Rule 5 Draft pick Zach Greene has not had a very nice spring for the New York Mets. It’s a shame because everyone would’ve loved to see the club steal away a young pitcher from the New York Yankees for free.

Through 4.2 innings spanning 5 games, Greene has 7 earned runs. He has walked 6 batters and struck out 5.

As meaningless as spring statistics are for most players, it matters for Greene. The Mets are getting their first look at him with a major decision about his future. They either carry him on the 26-man roster all year or return him to the Yankees. It seems like the decision has already been made.

Where the other NY Mets relievers stand in the picture

If Greene is gone, the door opens up for Stephen Nogosek to grab that roster spot. He has been effective this spring. He’ll need to show a little more in the final weeks to ensure he stays, but his performance with the big league club and even in the minors last year should at least make him a top candidate. Only Tommy Hunter could potentially steal it away. My belief: the Mets want to see what the kid can do. You don’t get rid of Nogosek only to add another non-optional reliever to your roster.

This leaves us with two other roster spots to debate. There’s the John Curtiss/Bryce Montes de Oca/everyone else spot. Curtiss should be the favorite here. He has not allowed a run to score in his 4 innings. He has allowed only one hit and fanned 8 batters. His roster spot isn’t as critical to get right because the Mets can always swap him for someone else.

Finally, the most mysterious of all, we find the long-men. A race between Elieser Hernandez and Joey Lucchesi, neither have pitched all that much. Lucchesi has just a single inning and a run allowed this spring. The final decision on them isn’t such a permanent one and spring statistics won’t matter all that much anyway.

For the Mets, choosing Lucchesi makes more sense if they don’t have intentions of keeping him stretched out to start. The health of Jose Quintana and Brooks Raley may factor in as well. If one lands on the IL for what appears to be a lengthy stint, having Lucchesi fill in as a starter on the depth chart for Quintana or a reliever immediately for Raley makes sense. Losing both would create a little chaos, but it does seem that the choices for lefty relievers internally are far fewer and effective.

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