Fansided
Rising Apple
New York Mets News

New York Mets: We aren’t afraid of the big, bad bullpen in 2020

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training baseball game at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

The New York Mets bullpen should be a lot better in 2020 than to scrape by with wins by the hairs of their chinny-chin-chins.

They can huff, they can puff, and they can try to blow the New York Mets bullpen down. Opposing hitters can do whatever they can to take down the Mets relievers. In 2020, the relief corps needs to move on from the woes of the last three seasons and hold leads, help in comebacks, and pitch with what their mamas gave them.

Since joining Rising Apple at the beginning of the 2018 season, the bullpen has been a constant subject I have written about with everyone else on this blog. From the last days of Hansel Robles to the implosion of Edwin Diaz to the present day where we’re all hoping Dellin Betances is as great as advertised, I think we’ve experienced everything with this team.

The lows. The highs. A lot more lows. Mets relievers have done it all over the last two years. Like Lenny Bruce in an REM song, I’m not afraid of what’s to come.

More from Rising Apple

I have to believe Diaz is better than he was in 2019. Unless there’s an injury we aren’t aware of, it’s hard to imagine how such a talented young arm could fall off so quickly. I understand lights shine a whole lot brighter in New York than Seattle. But it wasn’t until Diaz started to struggle that the heat turned up.

Then there’s Betances, a native New Yorker who has spent his entire MLB career with a New York team. There’s no built-in excuse about pressure for him. His aging and healing body is the only thing that could get in the way.

Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson are coming off of successful years and I’m not sure anyone has much doubt in them. Brad Brach looks ideal for the middle of games as an arm that can pitch when the team is ahead or behind.

None of those three have me concerned.

The same isn’t true for the other relievers on this roster. Robert Gsellman took a few steps back in 2019. Fortunately, he’s young and there’s no reason to fret about his future. Many of the others have some questions but I’m not sure we’ll ever see them pitch in anything other than an emergency situation.

Finally, there’s one of the biggest wild cards of all in the bullpen. He’s the big bad wolf I am afraid of. I’m referring to Jeurys Familia.

It’s almost understandable why others struggled in 2019. You can justify it, in a way. With Familia, it’s tougher. He’s a veteran who spent almost his entire career in a Mets’ uniform. And yet in a non-closer situation during the 2019 campaign, he had the worst season of his career.

When the Mets reunited with Familia under the guise that he’d be a setup man and not a closer, some fans jumped to the conclusion that this would help him. Pitching in innings seven or eight wouldn’t carry the same pressure as the ninth. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case as he turned in an all-time personal worst year.

Familia remains my biggest fear in the bullpen. Because of all the money he’s earning, the Mets are probably going to force him into big situations at least for a little while. In a 60-game season with far less room for error, this could cost them a playoff spot very quickly.

Brodie Van Wagenen’s tenure as the general manager may be defined in part by the bullpens he builds. He missed on two big moves for the 2019 season (Diaz and Familia) and didn’t do anything drastic for this year other than give them all a second chance.

Next. What's in store for J.D. Davis' career?

Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!

Write for us!

I’m not afraid of this bullpen performing as poorly as it did last year. I’m more cautiously optimistic about them. In a 60-game season, we could even luck out and see them succeed merely by not having enough time to fail.

facebooktwitterreddit