Finding young relief pitchers for the bullpen can put a team over the top. For the New York Mets, these three relievers are ones I’m watching closely.
Relief pitchers often come from out of nowhere and dazzle us in those middle and late innings. Not all follow the career trajectories of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. Those two New York Mets pitchers followed the familiar path of “failed starters turned relievers.”
This year, we’ve seen the Mets bullpen suffer multiple injuries. It’s a part of the game and when it happens, it’s time for the young relievers to step up.
Unfortunately, in recent years, the Mets haven’t had much luck in finding these gems for their bullpen. Names like Jacob Rhame, Paul Sewald, and others come to mind as poor performing relievers. While there are a few guys out there who we shouldn’t give up on completely, there’s a certain age where it’s probably time to move on.
In 2019, there are some rookie relievers to watch closely. We got a taste of what they can do last year, but this is the season where we should see them for an extended period of time.
I’m limiting this list to the relievers I believe have a brighter future ahead. This means Drew Gagnon is off the board. At 29, he is what he is and that’s an emergency starter who can mop up a few innings. I like what he has offered the Mets this year, but I’m also not ready to anoint him a bullpen savior in any way. When he struggles, the game turns into a hitting clinic by the other team.
These three relievers I’m going to look at are on the younger side and have a few years left to go through their growing pains. However, I would prefer to see them put it all together this year.