New York Mets: Three Michael Wacha predictions for 2020
By Tim Boyle
Wacha becomes more “Lugo” than Lugo
Seth Lugo’s role over the last two seasons has been the multi-inning threat out of the bullpen. This year, I think the way he’s used could slightly change.
Lugo can go two innings in a night. A benefit of Wacha and his history of starting could mean we see him go three or even four frames when needed.
Both of these ex-starters are nice weapons to have in relief. In the time when Lugo has become LuGoat, I think we’ve also seen how much deadlier he can perform if it’s just one frame. This could even give him an opportunity to become available with less rest in between appearances.
Depending on how the expected setup men perform will go a long way into determining how the bullpen lines up. Lugo may end up as more of a setup man than anything else. If so, Wacha’s role as a long reliever who shows up in close games could grow.
A major difference between Lugo “Lugo’ing” and Wacha are the results. I don’t foresee Wacha having the same level of dominance. He might be a productive member of the relief corps, but to expect elite numbers like Lugo has posted is asking too much.
Instead, I see Wacha’s strikeout rate going up only slightly and his ERA hovering somewhere in the mid-3.00s at best. He’ll have an adjustment period at some point when he’s pitching more than every fifth day.
As long as he’s not bouncing in and out of the rotation, time will allow him to become accustomed to his new role with the Mets.