Each day inches closer to the hope of baseball returning, and the New York Mets will have some crucial decision to make with their roster. Seth Lugo is a versatile weapon in the pitching staff and could sneak his way back into the starting rotation during this shortened season.
Confirmed: Seth Lugo has ice in his veins. pic.twitter.com/xpVjr4wnsH
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 31, 2019
The original thought when Noah Syndergaard had to get Tommy John Surgery was Michael Wacha sliding in to take his place. As the season gets shorter and shorter, the idea of Seth Lugo moving into the rotation should have weight.
Reasons to Start Lugo
If Syndergaard were healthy, the urgency would not be as high. The Mets need to replace his production, and there is no guarantee Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, or Wacha could do the same. Lugo has a 4.06 ERA during his career as a starter, compared to 2.52 in the bullpen. His K/9 is three better as a reliever. A move to the rotation moves him from a dominant reliever to a solid starter.
There are concerns about Lugo’s workload as a reliever, which limited his usage early in the season. The extended period on the sidelines has allowed his injured elbow to heal. If the season is 100 games and everything works as planned, Lugo makes no more than 20 starts. His average 5.5 innings per start would equal 110 innings. It would be the most he has thrown in a season, but there are ways to limit the number.
26 up, 26 down. Hats off to Seth Lugo for a franchise-record-tying streak.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) August 11, 2019
The shortened season could include a roster expansion from 26 to 30. The Mets could implement a six-man rotation that includes Lugo in the mix. In that situation, he could pitch out of the bullpen late in the season as well. It would keep him around the 100 inning mark Lugo reached in 2017 and 2018.
Lugo could also remain in the rotation until the Mets acquire a starter. He spends half the season starting and the rest in the bullpen. It becomes another way for the Mets to get the most out of him.
There are plenty of avenues for the Mets to go with Lugo. Teams throughout baseball do not have weapons like these, and the Mets should make the most out of a shortened season.