Even Thor himself may be sent to the bullpen to make occasional relief appearances.
As a means of limiting their innings, the Mets’ Triple-A starters may occasionally work as relievers while. And that group includes top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard.
On Wednesday, general manager Sandy Alderson discussed the Mets’ young crop of pitchers and how they may ultimately help the team fill out the bullpen later in the season. On Thursday, Mets vice president Paul DePodesta offered a few basic details about how the minor-league arms could be “periodically used out of the 'pen in a controlled way.”
“The plan would be for any relief stints to be fairly brief,” DePodesta told Newsday. “In other words, we don’t expect any of the starters to go into the 'pen for a month at a time or anything like that. Of course, the situation could change. But that’s the feeling as of now.”
Earlier this week, Alderson said it was “unlikely” that Syndergaard would be one of the pitchers used by the Mets to stock the bullpen later in the season. Instead, Syndergaard appears ticketed to join the rotation once he’s promoted later this season, no different from Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler before him.
But until then, Syndergaard may find himself occasionally working out of the bullpen, along with the rest of the Mets’ pitching prospects. DePodesta said the relief work would primarily be a function of keeping pitchers within their respective innings caps. Syndergaard’s innings limit is believed to be in the 150 range.
DePodesta was asked if Syndergaard would be included among those starting pitchers to throw out of the bullpen in minor-league games.
“There’s a chance we could do it with anyone, depending on the circumstances,” said DePodesta, the Mets’ VP of player development and scouting. “It’s not a matter of changing their role. It’s really a matter of workload.”