1 Mets bullpen strength, 1 glaring weakness

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Mets will look to build off their 101-win season from a year ago. Even though the Mets have sky-high expectations to not only win the NL East for the first since 2015, they are also seeking a World Series Championship.

It looks like they have a team that can win a championship, it's not going to be easy as there is one specific hole this team has to may come back to bite them, the bullpen! The bullpen has taken some hits this spring with most notably all-star closer Edwin Diaz suffering a season-ending injury during the World Baseball Classic. With the bullpen not going to be the same as it was last year, what are the strengths and the weakness of this New York Mets bullpen in 2023?

NY Mets bullpen strength: high strikeout rates

Even though the Mets will be without Diaz for the season, this bullpen the Mets have right now, have hurlers that can strike out batters at a high rate. For example, Adam Ottavino. Ottavino is entering his second season in a Mets uniform and is coming off a strong season in 2022. He had 79 strikeouts in 65.2 innings and averaged 10.83 strikeouts per nine innings and 10.46 overall for his career so it is safe to say Ottavino can rack up strikeouts when it counts the most.

Also, Drew Smith pitched really well last season for New York. In 44 appearances, Smith pitched to a 3.33 ERA with 53 strikeouts and after a few shaky seasons in New York, Smith has finally been proving why he belongs. You also can't forget what he said during Spring Training when he said he was working on having a much better diet and changing his delivery. So, he will only get better now that he's made those two adjustments.

Another pitcher that can rack up k's at a high level is 37-year-old and first-year Met, David Robertson. Roberston was a good pickup by the Mets especially now with Diaz on the shelf. Last year he had 81 strikeouts in 63.2 innings with 11.45 strikeouts per nine innings. I'm high on Robertson that he will continue this trend at age 37. Another reliever that will be sneaky good for New York will be Dennis Santana. In just 58.2 innings with the Rangers last season, he racked up 54 strikeouts in 58.2 innings with a strikeout per nine stat of 8.28. So, Santana has an excellent opportunity this season to prove he's a valuable asset out of the bullpen.

NY Mets bullpen weakness: lots of injuries already

As already mentioned, the Mets bullpen is dealing with some injuries and it's not just Diaz. It was also announced this week that righty Bryce Montes de Oca will undergo Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery that may sideline him for up to eight weeks. The Mets were high on him to step up this year so it's a big blow for New York. Another notable Mets injury came from a guy that Mets had high hopes on and that's Brooks Raley.

Raley who did make an intrasquad game appearance has been sidelined with a nagging hamstring injury. This was an under-the-radar signing by the Mets as Raley with the Rays last season, he pitched to a 2.68 ERA with 61 strikeouts. With the Mets bullpen thin as it already is, they cannot afford to not have another reliable pitcher not be ready.

I think if anybody that has a chance to step up in the absence of Diaz it will be Robertson. The reason why I think that is that he's been a closer before in the league and has proven he can step up at any given moment. He converted 20 saves last year combined for both the Cubs and the Phillies and still struck out 81 batters too. This is a perfect opportunity for him to step up and prove he can fill the hole Diaz left.

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