The New York Mets have seemingly struck gold with Seth Lugo, as he’s become one of the premier relievers in all of baseball. Over the last two seasons, Lugo has pitched 181.1 innings in the last two seasons to the tune of a 2.68 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 3.38 xFIP, 3.10 SIERA, and a 3.8 fWAR.
The starter converted to reliever has expressed interest in starting again, and with Noah Syndergaard out, should the Mets consider trying to make Seth Lugo a utility arm, getting him to both start some games, and come out of the bullpen. With a 60 game season, Lugo could pitch the Mets out of trouble to close crucial games out, or get the Mets 4 solid innings to start a game and hand it to guys like Robert Gsellman and Justin Wilson for the 5-7 innings.
Is Lugo the Mets Best Pitcher Not Named deGrom?
If you think about the Mets without Syndergaard, who else is as valuable and pitches to as high of a volume out of the bullpen as Lugo? When you look at peripherals and even result-based metrics, you can’t say that he’s not their second best pitcher, and out of the bullpen he’s their best bet, as while yes Betances is better, being able to use Lugo as much as the Mets have been able to does matter.
The Mets need their pitching to hold up as their bullpen’s potential with a better Diaz and a healthy Betances. Their bullpen being as good as expected with their talent gives them a leg up over their division, but what about a super pitcher?
Having Something The Other Don’t
The NL East contenders do not have the type of pitcher Lugo is, and so by using him to his full potential, you create a sort of super pitcher role that not only can other teams in their division not fully prepare against, but cannot use against the Mets, as none of them have a great reliever with that much versatility, and so they will often struggle more than the Mets in terms of pitching
The Mets have 60 games to take every little advantage they’ve got with a loaded up roster and win the NL East, and if they use Lugo as a utility arm, they’re going to enjoy bypassing the wild card and going straight to the NLDS.