With Steven Matz heading to the disabled list, the New York Mets have promoted right-hander Robert Gsellman to take his roster spot. Word is that the Mets will use Gsellman in relief, although he's spent most of his career as a starter and could take that role in the majors at some point.
Gsellman was drafted by the Mets in the 13th round in 2011 from Westchester High School in Los Angeles, California. He's been consistently and solidly successful at each level, with notable performances in 2014 (2.55 in 116 innings, 92/34 K/BB in Low-A) and again in 2015 (2.89 in 143 innings, 86/37 K/BB in High-A and Double-A.
Here's the pre-season take from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Robert Gsellman, RHP, New York Mets
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 200 DOB: July 18, 1993
2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C+
Gsellman continues to eat innings and throw strikes efficiently with a fastball in the 89-92 range (sometimes higher) along with a curveball and change-up. Nothing here is plus according to the scouting reports and that’s backed up by the metrics; he doesn’t strike many people out. He gets some grounders though and has not been vulnerable to home runs, enabling him to keep his ERAs reasonable despite non-elite stuff. Durability and consistency are the watchwords here, giving him as a chance to be a fifth starter. He would probably be a bit more dominant on a per-inning basis if he switches to the bullpen. Watch for any spike in his strikeout rate, especially if there’s a report of a new pitch or improved secondaries to go with it. Grade C.
Gsellman opened 2016 in Double-A and performed well, 2.71 ERA in 11 starts with a 48/15 K/BB in 66 innings). He has been less effective since moving up to Triple-A Las Vegas (5.73 in 49 innings, 40/16 K/BB, 56 hits). He's continued to generate ground balls (2.00 GO/AO) but has been more vulnerable to home runs since moving up to the Pacific Coast League, which isn't a surprise given the environment.
Scouting reports have changed a bit: the 89-92 MPH fastball from past seasons has kicked up a notch, reportedly to 91-94 with peaks as high as 98 according to Greg Karam at AmazingAvenue. He's also added a slider to go with his curveball and change-up. Throwing strikes and generating grounders remain the key components to Gsellman's game. His breaking stuff has improved this year, but Karam believes that Gsellman's change-up still needs work.
Gsellman has done enough this year to move into the Grade C+ range, perhaps a B-. Long-term he continues to project as a number four/five starter or a bullpen asset.