Which Non-Roster Invitees Can Make Opening Day Roster?

ty kelly

While the 25-man roster seemed pretty much set most of the offseason, injuries always loom. With David Wright‘s shoulder impingement and the possibility of his starting the season on the 60-day DL, the Mets possibly have an open roster spot. Of all the non-roster invitees this spring, who has the best chance of filling that last spot?

Ty Kelly

If nothing else, Ty Kelly has a base hit for the Mets in a playoff game, more than a handful of the 25-man roster can say. Kelly filled in for an injury-ridden roster during his first big league season. The Mets, though, are hoping his services will not be needed this year in that faculty. However, after several catastrophic injuries to his teammates, the rookie showed his defensive flexibility and could be a good temporary filler once again.

Career MLB Stats: 14-for-58, 1 HR, 7 RBI, .241/.352/.345
2017 Spring Training Stats: 1-for-6, 0HR, 1RBI, .167/.500/.667

Case for roster spot: The Mets are aware of what Kelly will bring to the table, and have shown their willingness to let him be an everyday backup. He can play every infield and outfield position if needed, and his switch-hitting bat is always a plus for bench players.

Ben Rowen

The submariner has split his 12 MLB appearances across stints with the Texas Rangers and the Milwaukee Brewers, Ben Rowen has allowed nine runs in 11.2 innings. His two pitches, his sinker and slider, both have plus movement and are often swung at and missed, putting Rowen in a good position to join a bullpen that placed 5th in strikeouts last year.

Career MLB Stats: 11.2 IP, 6.94 ERA, 9 K’s, 2.057 WHIP
2017 Spring Training Stats: 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 K’s, 0.33 WHIP

Case for roster spot: Since he has been at camp he has impressed many, and his three perfect innings so far have helped. His numbers across seven Minor League seasons are very impressive, as he has gone 25-10 with a 1.85 ERA, striking out 301 batters in 384.2 innings. In the same way submariners Chad Bradford and Brad Ziegler did, he could have a breakout season if given a consistent role.

Tom Gorzelanny

If this were 2012, Tom Gorzelanny would be a perfect fit for a team like the Mets. Alas, time has gone by and so has Gorzelanny’s prime. Since a 2012 campaign featuring a 2.88 ERA in 45 appearances for the division champion N*tionals, the 12-year veteran has seen little success since then. He came to spring training with adjusted mechanics, but he has not fared well in Grapefruit League games thus far.

Career MLB Stats: 50-53, 883.2 IP, 4.40 ERA, 714 K’s, 1.445 WHIP
2017 Spring Training stats: 0-1, 3.0 IP, 18.00 ERA, 1 K, 3.67 WHIP

Case for roster spot: Gorzelanny’s experience is undeniable, and a veteran arm who has seen playoff action from the bullpen could be valuable. His pace for the spring will need to pick up, but if he can settle down, Gorzelanny could get the call as his being a left-handed reliever increases his value.

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