NEW YORK—The Mets selected P.J. Conlon as the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year in 2016. Now, they have invited the Ireland-born lefthander to big league camp.
General manager Sandy Alderson indicated Conlon at least nominally will receive consideration for a big league bullpen role out of spring training.
With Jerry Blevins still an unsigned free agent, the Mets’ primary lefthanded relief options are Josh Edgin and Josh Smoker. They also have invited to camp prospect David Roseboom, who participated in the Arizona Fall League, and 29-year-old minor league free agent import Adam Wilk.
The 23-year-old Conlon claimed the minor league ERA title last year when he went 12-2, 1.65 in 24 games (23 starts) at low Class A Columbia and high Class A St. Lucie. He struck out 112 batters in 142 innings and walked just 1.5 per nine.
Conlon was raised in California after moving to the U.S. from Northern Ireland at age 2. He became an American citizen as a high school senior. The Mets drafted Conlon in the 13th round in 2015 out of San Diego.
Conlon’s fastball generally sits at 87-89 mph and tops out at 90. He throws four- and two-seam fastballs as well as a changeup, curveball and slider.
“The way I pitch, it’s always going to stay the same,” Conlon said. “I’m a guy who needs to change speeds and keep guys off-balance.”
Conlon said he was appreciative that the Mets recognized him at Citi Field in September as the organization’s top minor league pitching performer for 2016.
“You set goals for yourself before the season starts, but it’s never really result-oriented such as an award like this,” Conlon said. “To be recognized like this is just . . . a bonus. It’s definitely a huge honor.
“(Robert) Gsellman was pitcher of the year last year and now he’s up here. It’s just nice to see hard work paying off to know I really do belong here in pro baseball.”
NEW YORK MINUTES
• Righthander Gary Cornish, a 19th-round pick last June out of San Diego, received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for an amphetamine.
— Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPN.com