Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman becoming a future closer contender
By Tim Boyle
Robert Gsellman has been so great for the New York Mets out of the bullpen, it’s possible he becomes the team’s next closer. Will it happen?
There hasn’t been much discussion about what the New York Mets plan to do with closer Jeurys Familia. The eccentric closer is in the final year of arbitration, possibly bound for free agency this winter.
Personally, I’m a bit torn as to whether or not Familia should stick around. As great as he is at times, Familia is far from perfect and bound to have a large asking price.
Pitcher Robert Gsellman could make the decision a lot easier on the Mets. He’s throwing missiles this year out of the bullpen. In doing so, he adds his name to the hat for possible Familia replacements.
Looking ahead to 2019
Although we’d all love to enjoy the 2018 Mets and the early success, it’s important to look at the future as well. One of the important roles they may need to fill is at the back of the bullpen. How far must they go to secure a top-level closer?
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Financial constraints should limit the Mets from adding a top-five closer either via free agency or trade. They would also benefit a lot more from using any money they do spend in other areas. This is especially true if Gsellman is the real-deal. Unfortunately, the Mets will need to decide this long before they make a choice on Familia.
The benefit of Gsellman in the bullpen is the fact that he’s able to pitch multiple innings in relief. The converted starter can go longer than most relievers. Drawing comparisons to Andrew Miller, he’s a dangerous weapon for the Mets in the late innings.
But could Gsellman be even more valuable in the final frame each night?
If Familia walks, they may have to make the change.
Sacrificing a multi-inning relief pitcher for an awesome closer is something I would advise the Mets do. What good is having a shutdown reliever for innings seven and eight if you cannot trust the man in the ninth?
Bullpens are built backward, starting with the closer. Unless a team knows who gets the ball for the final out, the rest are moot. Your best reliever should always get the ball for outs 25, 26, and 27. Gsellman could soon become the best one the Mets have.
Thus far in 2018, the Mets bullpen has been its strongest area. Gsellman has a lot to do with it. The future for him has never looked better than it does right now. Whatever his role, Gsellman should help the Mets for a long time.
Next: Rays ready to talk Wilson Ramos trade with Mets
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Gsellman has the look, the intensity, and the fire-power to succeed as a closer. It’s up to the Mets to decide whether he uses those tools in the middle innings or the last one.