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3 Mets pitchers who should get their share of relief innings in 2021

Mar 13, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jordan Yamamoto (45) throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jordan Yamamoto (45) throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 2, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jordan Yamamoto (45) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the third inning at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets bullpen hasn’t been so bleak this year. Can you believe it? There actually is some sunshine after the starters leave. While they have had struggles, their relief pitchers haven’t been the most aggravating part of the club.

Several important players in the bullpen have performed well. Others have performed better than expected. It’s actually quite surprising. I expected so much worse.

There are a couple of guys out there who aren’t looking so hot right now. Their roster spots are in jeopardy and should remain so unless they become unhittable. Fortunately, there are some guys in the minor leagues who could replace them and possibly do a better job.

The Mets brought Jordan Yamamoto in to compete for a rotation spot but he could give them some relief innings

I wasn’t as excited as some other people to see the Mets bring Jordan Yamamoto to town. In 90 innings with the Miami Marlins, Yamamoto was 4-6 with a 6.20 ERA. Aside from a high strikeout rate—which everyone seems to have these days, there wasn’t much I liked about the addition.

Yamamoto ultimately failed to make the Mets roster out of camp. However, I do think he could be a nice addition to the club’s bullpen this year.

Yamamoto’s minor league numbers from 2016-2019 were pretty awesome. He never actually pitched above Double-A before making his MLB debut. Perhaps rushed to the big leagues, it makes sense why the Mets didn’t try to force anything with him. After all, he’s coming off a year in which he had an 18.26 ERA in 11.1 innings of work.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Yamamoto becomes a regular starter for the Mets. Outside of something outrageous and unforeseen, he’s a spot starter at best and more likely a guy we see plugged into the bullpen.

I’m always intrigued by what a struggling young starter can do with a transition to the bullpen. Yamamto, still in his mid-20s, has caught my attention.

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