The New York Mets may soon need to replace Jason Vargas in the starting rotation. Seth Lugo is one option, but is it worth losing him from the bullpen?
After the dud from Jason Vargas on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, many New York Mets fans had even greater reason to demand something be done about his spot in the rotation. Corey Oswalt, the man who took over for Vargas in the first inning after only one out was recorded, is one viable option. Another currently with the big league team is relief pitcher Seth Lugo.
Lugo dazzled fans in 2018 pitching his first season almost entirely out of the bullpen. He was, without a doubt, the best relief pitcher on the team for the duration of the year. He’s back in the role at the start of 2019, but Vargas’ struggles could push him back into the starting rotation where he had 31 games of experience.
As should the case would be for most, Lugo has better numbers as a relief pitcher. In 107 innings, he has a 2.69 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In his 31 starts which took him through 168.1 innings, he is 13-8 with a 4.06 ERA. His WHIP is a much less exciting 1.30.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
- NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins
Generally, pitchers do better in relief. The saying goes, relievers are just failed starters. Lugo never got the full opportunity to fail in this role. It’s unfair to call him such. Even with the inferior numbers as a starting pitcher, they’re nothing to dismiss. He can, indeed, pitch in either role. However, this Mets bullpen needs him badly right now.
The bullpen has been an early weakness for this squad. Until the ball is in Edwin Diaz’s hand, it’s an adventure. Even Lugo has had his bad days early on. Things have turned around for the better so we should expect brighter days ahead.
Before the Mets shift Lugo from the multi-inning relief threat that he can be, I would like to see them give someone else an opportunity in the starter role. Whether it’s Oswalt, Hector Santiago, or He Who Shall Not Be Named (Dallas Keuchel), I don’t want to see Lugo exit the bullpen. The Mets need him too badly at the moment to finish off those close games when the other four starters are on the mound. I would first take my chances to see if another starter can keep them in the game and hope the offense keeps pace.
Lugo wants to start—and for good reason. He’ll be a free agent one day and starters make a whole lot more than relievers. Not to mention, it’s likely something as simple as a personal goal of his. Even in this relief-heavy world we live in, there’s a certain glory to writing “Starting Pitcher” on your W2.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Lugo is an option for the Mets. They shouldn’t, however, bite off one of the best parts of their bullpen to spite their decision to lean on Vargas once again this year.