Mets non-roster invitee to know: Connor Grey

Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher Connor Grey  poses for a picture during
Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets pitcher Connor Grey poses for a picture during / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Many of the starting pitchers the New York Mets invited to camp this spring will be overlooked because of how deep they are at this position already. Behind the expected starting five, the organization has four guys on the 40-man roster capable of starting.

Connor Grey isn’t one of those men lined up for regular appearances. The 28-year-old has been with the organization since 2021 where he impressed them enough in an Independent League Chicago Dogs of the American Association. Grey had continued success with the Mets that year but turned in a much lesser performance in Triple-A last year.

Grey fell off the radar entirely with his 6.38 ERA in 104.1 innings of work. His invite to camp doesn’t mean a whole lot, or could it?

How Connor Grey can contribute to the Mets this season

There is a tough climb ahead for Grey to get back into the good graces of the Mets. Moving him to a bullpen role could be one option. Keeping him stretched out also makes sense but not for the best of reasons.

We saw the Mets have a need to turn to Thomas Szapucki and Jose Butto last year for starts. It doesn’t seem to matter how much depth the team has at the starting pitcher position. Eventually, guys who aren’t quite ready can get a nod.

Grey’s age does push him a little closer to the end of the line as far as becoming a major contributor in the big leagues. The Mets actually have quite a few guys in this or a similar situation projected to play for the Triple-A team. They’ve treated their Double-A ball club as more of the final step to the big leagues in recent years. David Peterson and Tylor Megill are two of the best examples. While Peterson skipped over Double-A completely before his MLB debut, Megill made only three starts before his.

The invitation to camp for Grey might be more about having someone to eat up innings than anything else. Buried behind so many other arms, his contributions to the Mets this year will have to be put on hold. Grey needs to differentiate himself from a couple of the other minor league pitchers the team has in the system. We could see him often this spring. In the regular season, Syracuse is where he should stay put until he shows improvement.

Even then, Grey is at best an emergency starter or bullpen arm the team could carry in case they need a couple of innings. This was pretty much what they had planned for him last year in August before designating him for assignment only a few days later without a single inning pitched.

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