Mets Bullpen: What Luis Rojas can do when Seth Lugo returns
The return of Seth Lugo to the New York Mets bullpen should have fans gushing with joy. Is joy something that gushes? Frankly, I’m getting to the age where I forget what it even is.
In whatever form joy comes seeping through, Lugo brings a lot of it to the Mets bullpen.
When he does make his return, what will the rest of the bullpen look like?
Seth Lugo pushes everyone back a spot on the Mets bullpen depth chart
The roster spot Lugo likely takes is the one currently occupied by Robert Gsellman, but perhaps not. Gsellman is on the Mets as a long-man. And while Lugo can go multiple frames, he is anything but someone assigned to get the Mets through a couple of innings in a blowout.
Instead, I would think Trevor Hildenberger is the logical choice to remove from the current roster simply because he has minor league options and only came up as a replacement for Dellin Betances. If Betances is back and Hildenberger is gone, Jacob Barnes better hope he’s pitching well.
Further questions will arise when guys like Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard are back. Will Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson head to the minor leagues or find a spot in the bullpen as a more legitimate long-man and occasional lefty help?
The biggest question could be how the featured relievers in the bullpen line up with Lugo back in the mix. Luis Rojas has turned to Miguel Castro, Trevor May, and Aaron Loup for setup duties often in the early part of the season. I don’t predict this will change, but we will see Lugo have some first cracks at earning some holds.
Along with this, it’s not preposterous to see Lugo in save situations on days when Edwin Diaz is not well-rested. A two-inning save is something we might expect from Jesse Orosco 35 years ago. In 2021, I wouldn’t be opposed to Lugo getting his.
The bullpen hasn’t been a major issue for the Mets thus far. Some questionable depth, however, could lead to problems down the road.
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There’s no question Lugo makes the Mets better and sets them up to hold onto more wins than when he’s absent from the field. Irreplaceable, his presence in the Mets bullpen should put us all at ease.