Dear Robert Gsellman, what has happened to you? You burst onto the scene with the New York Mets in 2016 and looked like a keeper. When you were paired in the bullpen with Seth Lugo back in 2018, there was a lot of hype about what you might develop into.
I was there for your first career save in 2018 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For sure, I thought this was the possible beginning stages of your transition into a steady reliever for the Mets for the next half-decade.
Instead, we’ve been treated to a lot of mediocrity. Worse, the hope that you might develop into a starter someday seems to have dissipated following a poor 2020 campaign. The Mets do believe in you, apparently. You’ll be on the 2021 Opening Day roster despite your 5.63 ERA this spring in eight innings of work.
Why Robert Gsellman made the Mets Opening Day roster
It felt as if the Mets were going to go in a different direction with their long man out of the bullpen to at least start the season. Minus Lugo, it was imperative to find an arm they could trust for two innings of work.
Lefty Mike Montgomery seemed like a nice candidate for the job. This would allow Gsellman to take a trip to the alternative site and possibly stretch out his arm for starter duties once the Triple-A season began.
Well, this isn’t what the Mets had in mind. Instead, Gsellman will find a spot in the bullpen to begin the year. Holding a lifetime 4.67 ERA, he hasn’t grown into the pitcher many believed he could.
It hasn’t been much better as a reliever either. In 156 frames, he has a 4.50 ERA aka an earned run per every other inning. While better than his numbers as a starter (4.83 ERA) it doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence.
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I can’t die on the hill of hating the decision to put Gsellman on the Opening Day roster. The other choices, while intriguing to a degree, weren’t exactly about to have a resurgent season with the 2021 Mets. Perhaps the front office simply wanted to go with the devil they already know to at least see what’s left in him.