New York Mets: The Underrated Value of Seth Lugo

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Seth Lugo was a valuable pitcher for the New York Mets in 2018. He can start, close and relieve. What role will Lugo fill for the 2019 pitching staff?

The New York Mets saw Seth Lugo thrive out of the bullpen in 2018. Following an injury-riddled 2017, the lanky righty found a home and proved to be a very valuable pitcher. He is now set to be a valuable piece of the 2019 Amazins’ as the club looks to return to October baseball.

In 54 games, Lugo recorded an ERA of 2.66 over 101.1 innings of work. Out of those 54 games, Lugo started five contests and recorded three saves. This versatility is extremely valuable and could help shape an Amazin bullpen in 2019.

We have all heard about Lugo’s legendary curveball (thanks Statcast) but the righty also features a plus fastball, a hard sinker, and a sharp slider. His stuff played up while working out of the bullpen, helping the righty finish the year with an ERA+ of 138.

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Seth Lugo was a dominant pitcher from the beginning of July until the end of the season. In 28 games, Lugo recorded an ERA of 2.32 over 42.2 innings of work. The righty limited batters to a batting average of .209, helping the Mets to a record of 22-6 in games in which he appeared.

Out of those 28 appearances, Lugo threw multiple innings in 15 of those games. This multi-inning ability is where Lugo becomes extremely valuable. If the club has the lead after six innings, Mickey Callaway has a weapon to be the bridge until he brings in his closer. The New York Mets just need to find a closer, I would expect the club to sign one in free agency.

Lugo also has shown the ability to close games, but his value rests in his ability to be the Mets’ version of Andrew Miller, a lockdown multi-inning threat.

Personally, I believe that Lugo also could be a solid rotation piece on an average team. While the Mets may not be an average team, their starting pitching is certainly above average. This forces Lugo into the bullpen, giving the club this extra weapon.

Even with that said, Lugo’s ability to throw multiple innings makes him one of the best spot starters in the league. Lugo proved that he could be a solid starting pitcher when he helped the Mets to the Wild Card game down the stretch of 2016 season.

Seth Lugo’s abilities are a very underrated piece of the New York Mets. If they want to build a strong bullpen, they should continue to build around Lugo and the club’s young arms.

Next. Machado a possibility in New York?. dark

In my opinion, the Mets are a reliable closer away from having a solid bullpen. Should they bring Familia back into the fold? Will they break the bank and sign Craig Kimbrel? We will have to wait and see, but I am excited to see how the New York Mets shape their squad for 2019.