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Mets: Three potential openers that could be utilized out of the bullpen

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Aaron Loup #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game one of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 11: Aaron Loup #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game one of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 11, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 01: Manager Luis Rojas #19 of the New York Mets walks on the field before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 1, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

With openers being the latest analytical craze around baseball, the New York Mets haven’t entirely shut the door on potentially being one of the newer teams that could experiment with using an opener this season. While many organizations during the 2020 season had moved forward with using openers more often due to the quirkiness of the condensed campaign it’s something we haven’t seen the Mets fully go all-in on yet.

The Tampa Bay Rays are the pioneers in terms of using openers in modern baseball which dates back to 2018. For reference sake, an opener is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the first three outs in a game, before being replaced by a starting pitcher or a long reliever who would come in and pitch multiple innings.

The goal of the opener is the opportunity for a reliever to be called in to face the first three hitters, who usually could be considered the most dangerous in the starting lineup, at the beginning of the game. In turn, it provides a team the opportunity to avoid the potential of those hitters seeing the same pitcher a third time through the lineup, as well as disrupting the hitter’s rhythm in a game with the hitter having to prepare for two different pitchers within as many at-bats.

Mets Manager Luis Rojas has hinted that he has relievers that could potentially fill an opener role if the team were to move in that direction this season.

When Manager Luis Rojas was asked about the potential of using an opener by the press during the start of camp he had stated, “We do have individuals on our roster right now that can definitely do something like that.” It’s certainly a noteworthy remark from Rojas as he seems to already have some names in mind on who he could potentially use in that particular situation.

With that being said, I’d like to evaluate three potential options that could be used as openers for the Mets, should they move in that direction at any point during the upcoming regular season.

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