Conlon, a 13th-round draft choice from San Diego State in 2015, has pitched to a 2.35 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 3.83 K/BB in three minor league seasons. Should he reach the major leagues, whether as a starting pitcher or reliever, Conlon would become the first Irish-born player since 1945.
The news of Conlon’s role switch shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as there had been chatter of such a move prior to the 2017 season when some writers went as far as suggesting that Conlon had a shot at the Mets’ opening day bullpen. In reality, The 24-year-old was assigned to Double-A Binghamton, where he made 28 appearances (22 starts) and recorded a 3.38 ERA.
After starting his first 21 games of the season, Conlon made six short relief outings over the final two months. He was strong in those stints, allowing five hits and an unearned run with eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings.
He made 17 relief outings in his debut season with Brooklyn, but those were appearances within the organization’s pitching program for newly drafted players, as he pitched every four or five days in preparation of transitioning back to a starter in 2016.
This news shouldn’t change Conlon’s expected assignment of Las Vegas, although, with a strong Spring, he may put himself in line to earn the second lefty spot in the bullpen behind Jerry Blevins.