Mets: Who will get the final 2 bullpen spots in Spring Training?

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) throws batting practice during workouts at spring training
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have every reason to be excited about their bullpen in 2024, and a talented pool of candidates will make their final cut on the depth chart difficult for all the right reasons.

Superstar closer Edwin Diaz is eager to get back on the mound and return to his dominant form after a brutal knee injury robbed him of his 2023 campaign. Behind him, Adam Ottavino is poised to own the eighth inning. Though, a long list of candidates are making their case to earn a spot in the bullpen in Spring Training.

Over a dozen relievers are vying for final spots on the Mets’ relief lineup

Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post laid out all of the Mets’ options for the fifth and final relief spot after giving the fourth slot to Michael Tonkin:

“A quick rundown of the possibilities: Austin Adams, Phil Bickford, Shintaro Fujinami, Reed Garrett, Grant Hartwig, Nate Lavender, Yohan Ramirez, Sean Reid-Foley, Yacksel Rios, Chad Smith, Cole Sulser and Josh Walker,” Sanchez listed.

Of the bunch, Smith’s spotless ERA leads the way while Reid-Foley has put away the most hitters with six strikeouts through the first two weeks of Spring Training.

What the Mets need most from support players in their bullpen

The Mets need their fifth and sixth-inning relievers to deliver in 2024. Their 4.49 ERA as a unit was ninth in the MLB last year.

Bickford and Hartwig both efficiently helped the Mets add to the win column last season, giving them a good shot to round out the closing unit. Mets head coach Carlos Mendoza and the franchise have under three weeks to make a decision before their Opening Day matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 28.

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