The next pitcher that the Mets will consider for the rotation is someone who has been with the Mets for the past few years, serving in a multitude of roles for the team. That player’s name is Seth Lugo. He has been called on to be a starter, reliever, and closer for the team. Lugo entered 2020 with the expectation that he would be one of the most important bullpen arms.
However, because of the ineptitude of the Mets free agent signings in 2020 (Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha), along with injuries and Stroman’s opt-out, Lugo was forced back into the starting rotation for a decent part of the truncated season.
Mets pitcher Seth Lugo could start, but his 2020 season suggested that would not be in his or the team’s best interests.
At first glance, Lugo’s 5.15 ERA in 2020 is alarming, but to be fair, that does not tell the whole story of Lugo’s season. Before he was thrust into the starting rotation, he made nine relief appearances, many of which were very good. At that point in time, he held a 2.03 ERA.
With the season being as short as it was in 2020, one bad start could severely inflate a pitcher’s ERA. And that is what happened to Lugo. He had two notably bad starts in 2020, one against the Philadelphia Phillies and the other against the Washington Nationals. The game against the Nationals in September was particularly damaging to Lugo. In that game, he allowed five runs and only got four outs before being yanked from the game.
As a result, Lugo had a 6.15 ERA as a starter and a 2.61 ERA as a reliever in 2020. And it should be noted that Lugo’s ERA ballooned when he was making the transition from reliever to starter. Although Lugo was used by the Mets as a utility pitcher, it would behoove the team to keep him in the position where he was most successful, and that is as a top reliever.
Prediction: Lugo will start and end the 2021 season as a key member of the Mets bullpen and have a bounceback year as a result.