The New York Mets have a mess on their hands in the back end of their starting rotation without their injured star pitchers, and it was exposed on Wednesday when Thomas Szapucki was hammered for 9 runs in 1.1 innings in the team’s loss to the Giants.
It is time for the Mets to go back to their internal drawing board to find their next candidate, and it comes in the form of Connor Grey, a 28-year-old righty whom the Mets signed to a minor league contract last year after pitching in an independent league.
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Grey in the 20th round in the 2016 draft and cut him in 2020, paving the way for the Mets to scout him and try him in their farm system.
The Mets view Connor Grey as this season’s Tylor Megill.
There are officials within the Mets organization who identified Grey as this season’s version of Tylor Megill. A year ago, Megill was a pitcher that flew under the radar and the Mets felt he could contribute to the major league roster in some capacity during the season. That, he did, in a big way. The Mets have similar thoughts about Grey.
Even though he made just 11 starts between High-A Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton, the Mets selected him to pitch in the Arizona Fall League last October and impressed there, pitching to a 3.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched in the desert. After all, he took a no-hit bid into the ninth inning in a game in Brooklyn last summer.
Connor Grey is pitching well at Triple-A right now and is making the best case of anyone in the minors to be the next call-up.
After a rocky start to his season, where he gave up more runs than innings pitched twice in his first five starts, the Frewsburg, N.Y. native and St. Bonaventure alumnus has turned it around in a big way his last three games.
Grey has pitched 17.2 consecutive scoreless innings in his last three games pitched, two of them starts, and he has gained a lot of confidence in this span. In his last start on Wednesday against Rochester (the Nationals Triple-A team), he tossed six of those shutout frames allowing just four hits in the process.
Grey said during an interview during the Arizona Fall League that hishis coaches helped him finetune his changeup and develop confidence in utilizing it in any situation, and looking at his tape, that is a reason he is elevated his game and is closer to a call-up.
The Mets will have an opening in their starting pitching next Tuesday, and Grey last pitched on Wednesday, so this would be a prime opportunity to bring Grey up on regular rest to try and see if he can be the next Tylor Megill, and at minimum, be a temporary fifth starter before the calvary returns.