2024 Mets outlook: Middle reliever expectations and predictions

The talent is there, but what about their control?

New York Mets Workout
New York Mets Workout / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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The New York Mets will have a different look to their middle relief group this year. After all, the Mets have gone in an entirely different direction when it comes to evaluating relievers in the open market under David Stearns, and three of their relievers projected to make the Opening Day roster had never been in the Mets organization at all during their careers until this offseason.

The Mets stressed the talent and upside of these new pitchers that they signed to low-risk, high-reward type of contracts with their new additions, and it could make for an intriguing part of their team this year.

In this article, and to conclude this series of individual player outlooks ahead of the 2024 season, we will offer expectations and predictions for the five relievers currently projected to make the Mets Opening Day roster according to the Fangraphs' Roster Resource page. Drew Smith, Shintaro Fujinami, Jake Diekman, Jorge Lopez, and Sean Reid-Foley.

Drew Smith's performance will tell us a lot about how the Mets season goes.

Last year was the first one in a while where Drew Smith did not get injured. But among the four seasons he pitched more than 10 innings, his averages were at its worst, but still above league average. He had a 4.15 ERA (102 ERA+) with a 4.55 FIP in 56.1 innings last year, but it felt worse than that, mainly because of some of the backbreaking home runs he surrendered, thanks to a high walk rate and lower velocity.

But still, Smith's performance will be indicative of how deep the Mets bullpen will be this season and how much Carlos Mendoza will be able to mix and match his reliever assignments with respect to the situation at hand and the confidence in said reliever. With that in mind, he is still susceptible to the home run ball, and that will crush Mets in crunch time.

2024 stat predictions: 4.25 ERA, 55 IP, 55 K, 1.27 WHIP