If for some reason this roster ends up being the roster the Mets field on Opening Day, Seth Lugo has to be in the rotation. Right now, if Seth Lugo was in the bullpen, the Mets rotation would be Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, Steven Matz, and Corey Oswalt. Having Corey Oswalt as your fifth starter if you expect to contend just is not a good idea.
In a perfect world, Lugo would be in the bullpen setting up for Edwin Diaz. That’s where Lugo is most effective, and where the Mets are at their best. However, there is still a chance, albeit a small one, that Lugo ends up in the rotation.
I was one of the people screaming for Lugo to enter the rotation last season after seeing how pathetic it was. Lugo had an up and down experience as a starter in 2020. The numbers don’t look pretty as he went 2-2 with a 6.15 ERA in seven starts in that role, but those base stats don’t tell the whole story. Lugo made two starts which saw him knocked out before finishing his second inning after allowing six runs. He also made two starts of at least five innings and allowing only one run.
As a reliever, Lugo allowed three runs in 10.1 innings pitched, a 2.61 ERA. I think the Mets know he is at his best when he comes out of the ‘pen, they just need to have the right pieces in the rotation to ensure he can go back to setting up or finishing games. The only way Lugo should be a starter in my eyes is if Steven Matz and Corey Oswalt would be in the rotation instead of him. This means the Mets would have to sign two starters, which I fully expect to happen. Hopefully, those two are Odorizzi and Bauer.