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Mets select pitcher Dowdy in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

LAS VEGAS -- Seeking both starting-pitching depth and another high-octane arm to compete for a bullpen spot, the Mets took a chance Thursday on Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Dowdy, a right-handed pitcher from the Indians organization. If Dowdy is healthy and does not stay on the Mets' active roster all season, they must offer him back to Cleveland for half of their $100,000 selection fee.

A hard thrower capable of reaching the upper 90s with his fastball, Dowdy struck out 120 batters in 124 innings last season, working exclusively as a starter after the Tigers traded him to the Indians in July. With Detroit, Dowdy had advanced as high as Triple-A, but he spent the remainder of the season at Double-A Akron.

LAS VEGAS -- Seeking both starting-pitching depth and another high-octane arm to compete for a bullpen spot, the Mets took a chance Thursday on Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Dowdy, a right-handed pitcher from the Indians organization. If Dowdy is healthy and does not stay on the Mets' active roster all season, they must offer him back to Cleveland for half of their $100,000 selection fee.

A hard thrower capable of reaching the upper 90s with his fastball, Dowdy struck out 120 batters in 124 innings last season, working exclusively as a starter after the Tigers traded him to the Indians in July. With Detroit, Dowdy had advanced as high as Triple-A, but he spent the remainder of the season at Double-A Akron.

Now, he will attempt to jump to the Major Leagues, becoming the Mets' first Rule 5 Draft pick that they did not immediately trade since Sean Gilmartin in 2014.

"This was a fun one for me," Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. "We brought a big group of professional scouts down here this week. We were locked in the room for hours and hours. To get consensus on a guy that we believe has tremendous upside -- and not only helping us now, but also going forward ... this is a kid that made huge strides, both from an analytics standpoint as well as the eyeball test."

In particular, Van Wagenen referenced Dowdy's increased spin rates and cleaned-up mechanics as reason for the Mets' bullishness on him.

At the outset of Spring Training, Dowdy figures to work as a starter, giving the Mets a depth option alongside Corey Oswalt, Drew Gagnon and Chris Flexen. Eventually, he is likely to enter a bullpen competition that will also include Bobby Wahl, Eric Hanhold, Drew Smith, Tyler Bashlor and several others.

"We're looking for depth in our starting rotation," Van Wagenen said. "We believe he can give us that depth. And he gives us some protection as we go into the season that if we need him to start, he has the talent ability to do that. So we're looking forward to seeing what he has. And if our rotation stays healthy and intact, then we certainly believe he can be a force for us in the bullpen as well. So we're excited to get him to Spring Training."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Kyle Dowdy