Not much has been said about Kyle Dowdy, the player the Mets selected from Cleveland in the Rule 5 Draft. The Mets added another hard-throwing righty in Dowdy and maybe that’s the problem. They added a bunch of this type previously and none of them have really stepped forward and claimed a job. In fact, it’s been mostly the opposite. When given a shot they’ve mostly failed. The success story so far has been Drew Smith. And Smith isn’t guaranteed a bullpen job for Opening Day. In fact, the last bullpen slot may come down to Dowdy and Smith, with Dowdy having a leg up in that they risk losing him if they send him to the minors.
Dowdy saw a big velocity increase last year, to the point where he’s touching 99 on radar guns. But as Hansel Robles will tell you, throwing hard by itself doesn’t make you a good reliever. In fact, despite the fact that Smith had an average fastball velocity of 96.3, his best pitches last year in the majors were his curve and change. Dowdy has been primarily a starter in the minors, with 20 of his 30 games last year as his team’s starting pitcher. In addition to his fastball, he features a curveball as a strong pitch and a slider and change as other offerings.