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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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Sep 26, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws the ball during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Dellin Betances or Jeurys Familia

I view Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia as guys in the exact same role which is why I am listing them both here. Both of these guys were signed by Brodie Van Wagenen as free agents to find their old form. In the past, both of these guys were shut down relievers in New York, and for reasons I cannot explain, the Mets felt they could regain their old form.

It was widely reported that the Mets were trying to dump one, if not both of Betances and Familia’s salary to try and clear more money to sign other guys. However, there were no takers. Now with Lugo out, both Familia and Betances will be relied upon to try and fill that big hole left.

In his first season as a Met, after missing most of 2019 with injury, Betances appeared in just 15 games as he battled through injuries and went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. I saw pretty much nothing that would make me excited about him for this season. His velocity was down, his numbers were down, and he just didn’t look very good.

Betances walked 12 batters and only struck out 11 in 15 innings pitched. His 8.5 K/9 was a career-low by far. His lowest K/9 prior to this season was 13.5 back in 2014, and his career K/9 is at 14.5 in his nine big league seasons.

Familia was signed in the 2018 offseason and has not been good either since coming back to Queens. In 2019, he went 4-2 with a 5.70 ERA and was pushed out of the eighth inning role he started in and was forced into more of a mop-up role. This past season, his ERA was better as it was at 3.86 but that’s a little misleading.

Familia’s walks were up and his strikeouts were down in the truncated 60 game season, and the number of base runners he allowed shows he might’ve gotten a little lucky that more runs didn’t score. In his 26.2 innings pitched he walked 19 batters, a 6.4 BB/9 which was the highest since 2013 when he only pitched in 9 games. He also only struck out 23 batters which add up to a 7.8 K/9, also the lowest mark since 2013. Familia allowed 39 base runners in 26.2 innings yet he only allowed 11 runs. It is unlikely that luck sticks.

Three candidates to "open" for the Mets. Next

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The Mets need at least one, preferably both, to pitch closer to how they pitched a couple of years ago. With Seth Lugo out, one of these guys will likely be pitching in more high-leverage situations than the Mets planned. Hopefully, for a month or a bit more they can be reliable enough to not blow games before the Mets better relievers can enter the game.

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