Like many red, white, and blue-blooded Americans, my biggest concern for the 2021 New York Mets is their bullpen. It doesn’t take more than a week of following this team over the past two seasons to understand how detrimental their poor performance has been to the organization.
If there’s any hope for a turnaround this year, we may need to thank FanGraphs for it.
I’m a regular viewer of their Roster Resources Page where I can check in on where different players stand within the organization. They’ve crunched their numbers, poured their chemicals into the analysis, and came away with some rather promising statistics from the 2021 Mets bullpen.
What FanGraphs says about the 2021 Mets bullpen
Although we don’t yet know exactly who will fill out the bullpen on Opening Day, FanGraphs projects the team will have all eight members with an ERA of 4.12 or lower. Edwin Diaz leads the way with a team-low 2.76 ERA with Mike Montgomery utilized as the long-man with the still respectable 4.12.
Trevor May, Miguel Castro, Dellin Betances, and Aaron Loup are all in the 3.00s while Jacob Barnes and Jeurys Familia are with Montgomery in the low 4.00s. Those two are still in a heated competition to make the club.
It’s not bad. It’s actually surprisingly promising for the team’s Achilles heel.
These statistics are not ripped from the pages of some Nostradamus prophecy. Likely, at least one of these guys will perform much better than expected while another guy is drastically worse.
Why I’m not sold on these projections
There’s one major reason why these numbers don’t sit so favorably with me. It’s what the other numbers say about members of this Mets team.
From the rotation, Jacob deGrom is projected to have a 2.81 ERA. Certainly good and understandable, it’s the only truly favorable number from any of the expected starting five in this year’s rotation.
Marcus Stroman will have a 3.86 ERA and Taijuan Walker gives a disappointed 4.37 ERA to the club in year one. Numbers like these are quite devastating. So are the offensive totals FanGraphs has projected.
The bench is predicted to hit between .222-.253 which isn’t going to actually hurt the team. My guess is FanGraphs aimed low on these batting averages.
The same could be said of the starting eight. Jeff McNeil’s .293 batting average is the highest on the club. Second to him is Francisco Lindor at a rather pedestrian .267.
Does FanGraphs know more about these altered baseballs we should expect to see in 2021? Or are these projected numbers playing it safe while giving the relievers a little more benefit of the doubt?
Projected numbers are fun to look at. They can provide hope in areas where we least expect it.
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On the 2021 Mets, it’s the bullpen where I’m not so sure we’ll see such dazzling results. Let’s hope FanGraphs knows something the rest of us don’t.