The Mets were dealt a blow to their bullpen today.
It was announced that Seth Lugo will undergo elbow surgery to remove a bone spur.
After the surgery is completed, Lugo will not be able to throw for six months. Best case scenario? We are probably looking for a May return.
Lugo has emerged as one of the game’s best relief pitchers, so this one really hurts.
Due to the piss-poor roster construction in 2020, Lugo was removed from the bullpen and inserted into the starting rotation. That was a ludicrous and shortsighted decision, so hearing that he would return to his role as a relief pitcher for the 2021 season was welcome news.
The “Quarter-Rican” has been the only consistently reliable relief option for the Mets the last few years. He would routinely pitch multiple innings and was often thrust into the closer role.
Enter Edwin Díaz.
Díaz appeared in 26 games in the pandemic shortened 2020 season. He pitched to a 1.75 ERA and struck out 17.5 hitters per 9 innings pitched! Wow!
Díaz also blew 4 saves in 2020, and at multiple times throughout the season, manager Luis Rojas was unable to commit to Díaz closing out games for the Mets.
Listen. The numbers are great. But the one stat I’m most interested in is “How many times will Díaz lose the closer job?”
Zero. The answer has to be zero.
Edwin Díaz notched six saves for the Mets in 2020. Lugo had 3 and he was taken out of the bullpen a month into the season!
- Dellin Betances: Question mark.
- Jeurys Familia: Question mark.
- Robert Gsellman: Question mark.
- Miguel Castro: Question mark.
- Drew Smith: Question mark.
Aaron Loup was a nice addition and he’s been tough on lefties throughout his career. He has six career saves.
Trevor May was the team’s big bullpen acquisition this winter and I am confident that it will pay dividends. He has seven career saves.
The last thing we want to do is put pitchers playing for a new team in unfamiliar situations.
Betances? Familia? Castro? Smith? Gsellman?! They would need to earn a little trust first, to say the least.
It’s truly on you, Edwin.
We don’t need to talk about the asinine trade which brought him here. We don’t need to talk about his atrocious 2019 season.
The Mets need him to be a reliable closer. Simply put, when the team gives him the ball with a lead, the night needs to end with the players shaking hands on the field.
The bullpen should be better. Díaz taking ownership of the ninth inning and never relinquishing it will allow the bullpen to take shape and hopefully meld into a cohesive unit.
Let’s go, Edwin.
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