The Mets signed submarine-throwing RHP Ben Rowen to a minor league deal in Decmeber.
Rowen has never pitched well enough to stick in the big leagues. However, with fewer than 12 innings under his belt, it's difficult to use that background to draw conclusions about his underlying talent or what to expect.
He has shown a lot of promise in extended time in Triple-A, where he has amassed 174 innings with several different organizations. Overall, Rowen has put up very strong numbers there, posting a 2.22 ERA paired with a 1.052 WHIP. He doesn't put up very high strikeout totals -- just 6.7 per nine innings -- but his walk rate is reasonable and, like most submariners, he gives up very few home runs -- just one last season.
He's not especially hittable, averaging 7.7 hits per nine innings in Triple-A. He generates a lot of weak contact on the ground, so infield defense may be a factor in his long-term performance.
As a potential piece in the Mets' bullpen, Rowen offers a very different look from most of their current pitchers. He doesn't throw hard and his unusual delivery could make it difficult for batters to adjust to him in between fireballers like Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia.
He also hasn't shown a tendency towards splits, getting lefties out as well as righties in the minors. The Mets bullpen in 2016 was much stronger against right-handed hitting, so bringing on a pitcher who is strong against left-handers would help fill out that dimension.
It's difficult to predict whether Rowen's success in the minors will translate with the Mets, but with an invitation to Spring Training, he'll have the opportunity to try.
With bullpen arms notoriously uncertain, both in performance and in health, an extra lottery ticket on the cheap is always a nice piece to stash.
Maggie Wiggin has been a Mets fan since birth and a MetsBlog contributor since 2013. She loves throwing hard and hitting hard and hates the DH. When baseball is out of season, she fills her days with data analysis and evaluation and patiently waits for Spring | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Archive Posts