New York Mets pitch Seth Lugo will look to replicate his relief success in 2018 and build upon his short stint as a starter. Here are the best and worst cases for Lugo’s upcoming campaign.
The tall, lanky right-hander offers a rare quality out of the bullpen and that is versatility. He can enter the game at any point and have equal success. He is able to play both the role of a long reliever and that of a late-inning man.
The Louisiana native compiled sterling numbers last season, including a 2.66 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and a 2.1 WAR. These stats highlight just how valuable Lugo was to the Mets thin bullpen, its lack of depth wore on most of their top options.
Compared Robert Gsellman posted a 4.28 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, after an encouraging start. His overuse, due to lack of options, affected his play. Whereas, Lugo was able to maintain throughout and still get the results he desired.
With the additions of Jeuryus Familia and Edwin Diaz for the late innings joining Robert Gsellman to form a triumvirate, Lugo will be used in a more flexible role to support others. Such a role is where he was at his most effective last season.
An addition of a left-handed reliever is a keen idea, as the Mets would like to solidify the back end or final three innings. This would allow them to deploy Lugo as a weapon at any time during the game.
There are some concerns that he could regress to his 2017 season, where he began the season with a partially torn elbow ligament and posted a 4.71 ERA upon arrival. However, his brilliant burst onto the scene in 2016 would indicate otherwise.
Being deployed as a starter he quickly established himself as a capable pitcher. However, his improvement last season may not be a fluke year, but rather an indication of the future. His change into the bullpen prompted a decided increase in velocity and sharpness on all of his pitches. If this is the case then he is an absolute asset in a limited role, where he can use all his pitches to their utmost capacity.
This gives reason for a hopeful 2019 campaign for the versatile reliever. Here is more on why he possesses a real opportunity to excel this season.