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New York Mets Bullpen 2017-2019: A short list of effective arms

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 16: Addison Reed
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 16: Addison Reed
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CINCINNATI, OH – MAY 07: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets pitches in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 7, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Mets won 7-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2018 Bullpen

Hopeful for a turnaround in 2018, the Mets did win 77 games which was a slight improvement over the 2017 results. Unfortunately, the bullpen was again an issue.

deGrom should have led the team in wins again, but this honor went to Noah Syndergaard who only started 25 games. His 13 wins beat out Zack Wheeler’s 12 by a single game. Starter Steven Matz pulled a short straw, going 5-11 with a 3.97 ERA while Jason Vargas somehow snuck away with 7 wins and a far worse 5.77 ERA.

Underperformers in this bullpen who reached 40 innings include 2017 top-performer Jerry Blevins, now full-time reliever Robert Gsellman, and second-year struggler Paul Sewald who this time went 0-7 with a 6.07 ERA.

For a while in 2018, it looked like Gsellman was one of the arms the team could count on. Some struggles late lifted his ERA up to 4.28. Signs of better things to come were there, though. As a young, promising arm, I’m keeping the faith alive.

None of those other struggling relievers we grew to loathe managed to get 40 innings of work. Tyler Bashlor and Jacob Rhame both topped 30 innings but did not get to 40. It’s probably for the best. Bashlor ended the year with a 4.22 ERA and Rhame’s was at a worse 5.85.

One would have a hard time finding anything good to say about the other, less-frequently seen relievers in this bullpen. Drew Smith and Daniel Zamora looked good in limited action. The opposite could be said about veteran AJ Ramos and Anthony Swarzak.

On the positive front, we saw the return of an effective Jeurys Familia and the emergence of Seth Lugo the reliever. Combined with his 5 starts, Lugo ended the year with over 100 innings logged and a 2.66 ERA. Prior to his trade, Familia gave the Mets 40.2 innings and a 2.88 ERA.

Yet again, the Mets leave the year with only a pair of relievers who took the mound regularly and succeeded.