The New York Mets are turning to Seth Lugo to help their ailing starting rotation. It’s huge news for his future.
Seth Lugo is returning to the New York Mets rotation at least temporarily. Down approximately a gazillion starters, the club will turn to their best reliever over the last two-plus seasons to help them out.
Lugo has already been passed over as a starting rotation option this year in favor of guys like Corey Oswalt and Walker Lockett. Even Robert Gsellman, a man in a similar position as Lugo, got to start ahead of him.
We all know why. Lugo is a brilliant relief pitcher. Without time to prepare him for a starting role, the Mets went in a different direction which yielded mostly poor results.
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Fortunately, for Lugo, more chances arose and his dream of starting for the Mets instead of relieving them will come true. Now it’s up to him to stay.
This decision goes beyond just the 2020 season. As soon as next year, we can see the ramification of moving Lugo to the rotation full-time if this is indeed the path the Mets take.
The obvious consequences involve how Lugo performs on the field and who takes his spot in the bullpen. I think the bullpen has done a good enough job in 2020 where we don’t have to sweat his loss too much.
Sure, blown saves will happen. More important right now is to stop the bleeding early on.
Even bigger is how this will impact Lugo in any future contract negotiations. He’s arbitration-eligible and moving to the rotation will grow his salary far more than working as a reliever.
A little further down the line, proving that he can start in the big leagues will impact his eventual free agent contract. The Mets don’t have to worry about this just yet. Lugo, already 30, may even feel the need to sign an early extension. That comes with its own risks and lack of probability due to his partially torn UCL and the current ownership.
Let’s cross that bridge when we get there.
As much as we all enjoy seeing Lugo jog out from the bullpen to save the day, a few innings of him every fifth night with equally as great results are far more important. I’m rooting for Lugo to succeed as a starter.
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Knowing all of the work they will have to do to find starting pitchers over the winter, I’m sure the front office is, too.