Former Firefly P.J. Conlon to make major league debut for Mets

P.J. Conlan to make major league debut

(WIS) - P.J. Conlon, a 2016 South Atlantic League All-Star with the Fireflies and Mets Minor League Pitcher of the Year, was added to the Mets roster and is scheduled to make his major league debut on Monday in Cincinnati.

Conlon will become the second Firefly to appear in a big-league game when he starts against the Reds at Great American Ballpark.

The left-hander was added to the Mets roster on Sunday when starter Jacob deGrom was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Conlon has started five games for the triple-A Las Vegas 51s this season and owns a 1-2 record and 6.75 ERA.

"A hearty congratulations to P.J., a wonderfully hard-worker, on his call-up to the big leagues," Fireflies team President John Katz said. "We knew it would only be a matter of time before his major league debut. Two years ago, Conlon put together an All-Star season and now he'll be wearing the Mets colors on Monday. It just shows, every day you visit Spirit Communications Park, you're going to see a future major leaguer play the game he loves."

Conlon was wildly popular during his time with the Fireflies in 2016. The 24-year-old was named a mid-season SAL All-Star after going 8-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 starts for Columbia. The Mets prospect struck out 61 hitters and walked just 10 over 78.1 innings and at one point won seven straight starts as a Firefly (April 14-May 23). He picked up his first professional win in the first ever game played at Spirit Communications Park (April 14, 2016 vs. Greenville).

Conlon finished 2016 with the advanced-A St. Lucie Mets and wound up posting a minor league-best 1.65 ERA.

Perhaps the most dominant outing of Conlon's minor league career occurred at Spirit Communications Park on June 4, 2016. The Placentia, California, native became the first minor leaguer in 11 years to log 10 innings (and needed just 97 pitches to do so). That night against Hagerstown, the lefty carried a no-hitter into the seventh and wound up allowing just four hits and one unearned run.

Conlon was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, before moving at a young age with his family to California in 1996. With the start on Monday, Conlon will become the first Irish-born player to appear in a Major League Baseball game since Joe Cleary played for the Washington Nationals in 1945. In fact, the last Belfast-born player to appear in an MLB game was Henry McIlveen in 1909.

Conlon is the second Firefly to reach the majors leagues in just three weeks. 2017 South Atlantic All-Star Merandy Gonzalez tossed two scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins on April 19.

The New York Mets drafted Conlon in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of San Diego. In 74 games (50 starts) as a Mets farmhand, Conlon is 21-14 with a 2.68 ERA.

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