The eventual return of Seth Lugo
The New York Mets sought out more depth to their bullpen for a reason this off-season. Injuries and inconsistent pitching from their relievers left the team vulnerable in the past. That being something that needed to change entering 2021.
Little did they know though that the depth would come in handy before opening day even came around. On February 16th, the Amazins’ top reliever Seth Lugo underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow.
This comes as a massive blow, as Lugo was set to return to the bullpen this season. In 2020, with the team’s starting pitching woes, Lugo was stretched out and put into the starting rotation. A move that resulted in Lugo putting up a 6.15era in seven starts, as opposed to his 2.61era in nine games as a reliever.
Again, the Mets bullpen has been their weakness in recent years, although Lugo has been the one reliable piece. Since making his debut in 2016, Lugo owns a 2.53era in 188.2 innings pitched out of the pen, compared to a 4.35era in 38 starts. Clearly, the 31-year-old righty is best suited as the team’s top bullpen arm.
This season, improved depth and a vintage Edwin Diaz are going to make the bullpen drastically better for the Mets. Even so, nobody has the potential to turn New York’s pen into one of the best in baseball more than Lugo, who will start throwing again around opening day.
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Even with the bullpen’s struggles in recent years, there are plenty of reasons to be confident in the New York Mets relievers entering the 2021 season.