Mets fans were excited about Leathersich, the team's 5th round draft pick after he struck out 26 of 47 batters in the New York-Penn League in 2011 and a strong career at DII UMass-Lowell.
Now, he's working out of the Savannah bullpen behind the Gnats' six-man rotation.
Gnats Pitching Coach Frank Viola explains how the team plans to use Leathersich this year and why, "We'll call him a "priority reliever." For him to make it to the big leagues, he's going to make it as a reliever. We're going to give him consistent innings, probably two-ish or three-ish innings every third or fourth day based on how many pitches he threw last time out, establish something, and go from there. What he needs to do more than anything, to move up the ladder, is to establish his secondary pitches more consistently. If he's able to do that, he's one of the few guys who I believe will move up the ladder real quick."
Viola, who coached Leathersich at Brooklyn in 2011, knows him as well as anyone in the Mets system and is optimistic about Leathersich's future, "He's starting to figure it out a little bit. Things came so natural in the division II school he pitched at. I think he's still trying to figure out can I get these guys out - inwardly. Outwardly, he's very positive. Inwardly, I think sometimes he questions himself."
In terms of make up, Viola sees Leathersich as better suited for the bullpen: "I think if you let him know what day he's starting, it will drive him crazy. I think he's better off not knowing his role, because then he just goes out and pitches. Guys like that, and I've known a whole bunch of them, are better off not knowing what day they're going to pitch and I think he's a case in point."