Mets non-roster invitee to know: Denyi Reyes

Mar 20, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Denyi Reyes (81) delivers
Mar 20, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Denyi Reyes (81) delivers / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Denyi Reyes is scheduled to start one of the split squad games for the New York Mets this Saturday when Spring Training games begin. The 26-year-old is coming off of a miserable season on the farm. In 60 total innings, Reyes was 1-7 with a 6.60 ERA.

Much of last year was spent with the Norfolk Tides, now the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. All seven of his losses occurred there and the 7.17 ERA was definitely a huge drag on this once promising pitcher who until he got to Double-A had several years of pitching to an ERA below 2.50 for the Boston Red Sox.

Used as a starter and reliever over the last few years, the Mets are willing to see if he’s someone they can work on. Age is on his side. Could some patience pay off with this offseason minor league free agent addition?

How Denyi Reyes can contribute to the Mets this season

If Reyes can stun the Mets this spring and pitch well in the regular season, he should be an arm they turn to for innings at some point. Whether due to injury or in need of a fresh arm, Reyes is a contender but not yet a serious one.

Buried on the depth chart as a starting pitcher behind David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and probably Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto as well, Reyes’ contributions may come exclusively as a temporary long man out of the bullpen. This spot in the Mets bullpen will go to a guy with minor league options. Elieser Hernandez has been a favorite all offseason. Even if he does end up pitching well, the Mets may have the need to demote him at some point for a player whose arm isn’t as taxed. This is where Reyes comes in handy.

His career in the minors has actually resulted in a very promising 45-28 record and 3.29 ERA. Most of the success came from 2015-2018. He’s a guy who seemingly hit a well the closer he got to the big leagues.

Reyes did finally get in 7.2 innings with the Orioles last year. He started a game and made two relief appearances for them. It wasn’t a disaster. He began with two shutout innings in relief. His start lasted 3.2 innings and 61 pitches in a victory over the Red Sox during a May doubleheader. He’d pitch again for Baltimore in June when he allowed a run in two innings of work.

Reyes is unlikely to stick with the Mets at any point this season. His lack of a 40-man roster spot at the moment puts him in competition with others in a similar situation. Having him stretched out and prepared for mop-up duty is the most likely role he’ll fill with the team in 2023.

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