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New York Mets: Four goals for the bullpen to achieve in 2021

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 05, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Phillies 5-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 05, 2020 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Phillies 5-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Sep 17, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) waits on the mound before being pulled from the game during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Decide on Seth Lugo’s long-term role

I promised we’d get to Seth Lugo again, didn’t I? You can’t mention the Mets bullpen without talking about this talented pitcher.

For the last three years, nobody has been more consistent in relief than Mr. Lugo. Even though he would prefer to start and may get his wish once again in 2021 in some capacity, I think it’s about time the Mets decide exactly what the best way to use him is.

Lugo is the kind of pitcher the Mets can build around long-term. He’s a weapon in many ways because of how well he can perform in relief and also how admirable his efforts as a starter can be.

After the 2020 results, I think most fans would prefer to see Lugo in the role he has excelled at most: multi-inning reliever. This comes with some consequences. Lugo is only available twice a week so the Mets have to choose wisely when they do call upon him for assistance.

The Mets don’t have to marry Lugo to a particular role, but I would like to see them finally decide on exactly where he fits in. If he is a full-time reliever and emergency sixth starter, this is what they should continually do. Make it clear to him that this is how he will be used throughout the season and beyond.

Of course, even if the Mets do have a plan with Lugo, it is always subject to change. If he gets a chance to start and performs beyond expectations, they may want to consider him for more starts in the future. Preferably, Lugo spends 2021 bridging the gap from the starter to Edwin Diaz in the ninth.

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