4. Seth Lugo, 2018.
All offseason we have debated the moves we want David Stearns to make, and the moves that he must make. During the 2018 offseason, Sandy Alderson had a few areas he needed to address one of them being the starting rotation. While the 'Flushing Five' all arrived at spring training healthy, nobody in the organization could trust them to remain healthy. The number one reason the 2017 Mets imploded was because every starting pitcher other than Jacob deGrom threw less than 100 innings.
Alderson addressed this need by signing Jason Vargas to complement deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey as the 'four locks' in the rotation. This meant Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Zack Wheeler competed for the final slot with at least one of them destined for the bullpen and the other 2 starting the season in AAA. In terms of the depth chart, Lugo found himself 7th behind Matz and Wheeler given his 4.71 ERA through 18 starts in 2017.
By the time opening day rolled around, Vargas was placed on the injured list after having surgery on his glove-side hand. Matz was also announced as being a part of the rotation, leaving just one slot open for the final 3 remaining on the depth chart. After posting a 2.87 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts, Lugo earned the final rotation spot. Although Lugo moved to the bullpen in April after having his first start rained out, he posted a 2.66 ERA in 101.1 innings pitched with 103 strikeouts. In the seasons to proceed, Lugo became the most trustworthy relief pitcher on the Mets' staff, making this spring training the jumpstart of his career.