Fan Shot by Gabriel Pariente
Last week, the New York Mets announced it Seth Lugo who went from starter to one of MLB’s top breeders in the last two seasons would be back as a starter for the rest of the 2020 season. Due to injuries to Michael Wacha, David Peterson and the ineffectiveness of Steven Matz the idea with this move is to improve the Mets’ starting rotation, which has been struggling this year, and to help the Mets compete better in the NL East.
However, despite Lugo himself having campaigned to start and in his career being a pretty effective starter that helped the Mets make the playoffs in 2016, this move is very shortsighted and exposes the Mets to another big problem: Games closing.
This offseason, the Mets added Dellin Betances to their bullpen which includes Justin Wilson, Edwin diaz, Jeurys family, Jared Hughes, Brad Brach, etc … While Justin Wilson has been very effective for the most part, there are still plenty of red flags with Familia, Betances and Diaz, all of which should be a vital part of the Mets’ bullpen. Betances’ who is returning from an Achilles injury has struggled with his speed and has had a few outings where he apparently has no feeling for his shots. He currently has an era of 6.00, has over 45% of the hitters he has faced this year and has been quite inconsistent.
Meanwhile, Jeurys Familia, who signed a $ 39 million three-year deal before the 2019 season, doesn’t look nearly the same man who saved nearly 100 games for the Mets from 2015 to 2016. In 78 appearances in the past 2 seasons, he covered 51 batters and also gave up 45 wins during that time. This translates into Familia giving up nearly 58% of the runs he earned in games he has participated in since returning to the Mets in 2019 and a walking rate of over 65% in the games he has entered during that time.
From 2015 to 2016, he had a walking rate of just over 32% in the games he participated in and gave up on earned runs in 24.7% of the games he participated in during those two seasons. He was very unreliable and certainly not someone that people should put too much faith in in closing games or getting big outs.
Edwin Diaz, who the Mets obviously acquired in the infamous Kelenic affair, was also a shell of the closest who saved 57 games for Seattle in 2019. Although he reduced the number of home runs he was allowed this year, he still has had problems locating pitches and not giving up on walks. He has covered 50.6% of the hitters he has faced since becoming the Met in 2019 and has been extremely mediocre in high leverage situations. The Mets simply don’t have enough blocking options in their bullpen to mitigate Seth Lugo’s absence, and that’s regardless of his numbers over the past 2 seasons.
Lugo appeared in 61 games last year where opponents hit .192 against him, knocked out nearly 59% of the hitters he faced last season, and had a WHIP of 0.75. He was the team’s best weapon in the 2nd half by going more innings by turning off the opposition and could play more games a week doing this. Last season, in fact, in July, Lugo had an ERA of 0.00 and alone almost brought the Mets back from the dead to the playoff contest. at least maybe 3-4 departures that would take us around mid-September where the season would be almost over.
He can also appear in matches only once a week, and at the moment he only goes 3-4 innings at the moment, which limits his effectiveness to the team. Lugo will be at the limit of the number of throws while stretched, but he is also throwing with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Any further injury in that area would force Lugo to suffer Tommy John intervention that takes almost a year to recover, and the more pitches Lugo throws the chances of injury increase dramatically.
While Matz was terrible and injured in Syndergaard and Marcus StromanThe opt-out due to Covid-19 damaged our initial rotation, fixing 1 area while weakening another is not the model of long-term success. It’s a short-sighted attempt by the organization that only serves to cause more trouble for the Mets in the future, something that is sadly a staple of the Wilpons’ mandate.
The Mets could use instead Franklyn Kilome who have acquired in the trade Asdrubal Cabrera which, despite the control issues, has potential as a starter and seeks to develop it as a back-end starter. But risking Lugo’s career and undermining a vital aspect of the team in an attempt to devour innings is the definition of mismanagement and those responsible for these decisions must be shown the door.
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This Fan Shot was provided by diehard Mets fan Gabriel Pariente
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