There has been a lot of talk about the state of the New York Mets bullpen. The narrative seems to be that the bullpen is bad and will be the reason this Mets team falls short in October. This is something I disagree with.
I believe this bullpen of course could be better, but is not as bad as it is made out to be. For context, the Mets are third in the National League with a 3.55 bullpen ERA.
In addition, the Mets will have as strong of a bullpen as they've had all season once Tylor Megill and Drew Smith return after long stints on the injured list.
The perfect Mets bullpen for a deep postseason run
For the postseason, I believe the bullpen should include these players:
1. Edwin Diaz
2. Adam Ottavino
3. Seth Lugo
4. Mychal Givens
5. Trevor May
6. Trevor Williams
7. Tylor Megill
8. Drew Smith
First of all, I don't think this will be the bullpen Buck Showalter decides to roster in the postseason. In my mock bullpen I do not have Taijuan Walker in it. I'm of the belief that the Mets don't need more than Trevor Williams as a long man in a postseason series and Williams is proven in that role. I believe Carlos Carrasco should be the fourth starter over Walker, thus bumping the veteran from the roster.
Another notable feature of my perfect bullpen is that it doesn't include a single left handed arm. I'd be surprised if at least one of Joely Rodriguez and David Peterson don't make the roster. My reasoning behind omitting both is my lack of trust in them in high leverage spots.
Peterson is a starting pitcher with very little bullpen experience. He looked great in his recent bullpen outing against Pittsburgh but I need to see more before I am swayed. He has control problems and struggled in his chance before that most recent outing against the Yankees.
Joely has been better of late but also walks way too many batters for my liking. I don't think any Mets fan feels comfortable with Rodriguez coming in against a lefty late in a close postseason game.
Seth Lugo has held lefties to a .464 OPS this season and can serve as a late inning "specialist" even though he throws right handed. I trust anyone listed in this bullpen over Rodriguez and Peterson late.
I believe the top six relievers are locks to make the roster. Diaz, Ottavino, and Lugo have been lights out especially in the second half. Givens and May, albeit some ups and downs, are proven relievers who for the most part have been just fine out of the bullpen.
Megill and Smith both have something to prove down the stretch. I like the potential of Megill out of the bullpen with his velocity and pure stuff. He can overwhelm hitters for an inning or two.
People forget how good Drew Smith was before his injury. For much of the first half he was the Mets most effective reliever outside of Edwin Diaz.
The only thing this bullpen is missing is a left handed arm to record big outs against the Freddie Freeman's and Bryce Harper's of the world. That's where Billy Eppler really messed up at the deadline. However, this bullpen is more than capable.
With the starting pitching the Mets have, this bullpen should be tasked with getting six or nine outs at most for a majority of the playoff games. With more off days than the regular season this means we can see a lot more of Diaz, Ottavino, and Lugo.
When needed, I trust the veterans in May and Givens to give the Mets a clean inning. I trust the stuff and potential of Tylor Megill and Drew Smith. And in the rare circumstance of the Mets needing length from a reliever, I trust Trevor Williams who has been lights out in his weird role all season long.