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Mets need these three relievers to step up in Seth Lugo’s absence

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
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
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 25: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets in action against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on August 25, 2020 in New York City. Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 3-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

For years, one of the biggest weaknesses the New York Mets have had has been finishing games. Their bullpen has underwhelmed. Former General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen tried to fix that issue by trading away top prospects in exchange for a 24-year old Edwin Diaz, a guy coming off of a historically great 2018 season with the Mariners.

That trade has had mixed results so far. He was awful in 2019, converting just 26/32 save opportunities, and posting a 5.59 ERA in 58 innings pitched. If he was bad and not horrible, the Mets probably make the playoffs.

He also signed guys who he expected to set up for Diaz in Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances. Both of those moves have been disastrous so far.

The one saving grace of this Mets bullpen has been Seth Lugo. The 34th round pick back in 2011 has converted from an average starter to one of the more dominant relievers in the game. He was key to the Mets stretch run in 2019 when they nearly made the playoffs and has been the most consistent reliever the Mets have had for the last couple of years.

What makes Lugo so irreplaceable in the Mets bullpen, is he is someone who can go multiple innings out of the bullpen.

Most guys who are as dominant as Lugo can only give you an inning, maybe four outs at most. Having a guy like Lugo who can consistently be relied upon to get six outs is extremely valuable.

Unfortunately, Lugo will not be available for the Mets to begin the 2021 season. He is sidelined with a loose body from his right elbow. He had surgery and is expected to be out until around early May.

With Lugo sidelined, the already thin Mets bullpen will need to try and replace their best reliever. These are the three guys I believe really need to step up in Lugo’s absence.

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