Mets remain non-committal on Seth Lugo's role for 2021: 'We've got some flexibility there'

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Seth Lugo delivers a pitch against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Seth Lugo delivers a pitch against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

The final question of Sandy Alderson and Jared Porter's news conference Thursday to announce the acquisition of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco was about Seth Lugo, whose role for 2021 remains very much up in the air.

"You could say he's more a bullpen piece because of what we've added in the starting rotation," Alderson said. "And conversely you could say that he's more of a starting pitching piece because of the depth we've added in the bullpen."

The rotation piece the Mets added -- Carrasco -- gives them a huge arm to join Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman at the top of the rotation.

The bullpen piece the Mets added -- Trevor May -- gives the Mets another late-inning option to go along with Edwin Diaz.

So where does Lugo fit?

"I think what all of us -- Jared (Porter), everyone in the organization -- will be trying (to do) and in consultation with Seth to some extent, is figure out where he's best utilized from an organizational standpoint," Alderson explained. "And then secondly, be sure that he can handle the innings that may be involved in starting pitching. But that's all about lengthening out and doing it at the appropriate time. So we've got some flexibility there.

"Seth is a guy that can go either way and I think Jared maybe is looking at both of those possibilities"

Lugo, who has made it known over the last few seasons that he wants to start, got the chance to do so last season and struggled in a small sample size.

And looking at Lugo's career numbers, he's been dominant in the bullpen and mediocre in relief.

Pair the above with the fact that the Mets have David Peterson and Steven Matz as rotation options and have Noah Syndergaard hopefully returning by June, and it seems clear that the place for Lugo is the bullpen.

But if the Mets were to sign another elite late-inning guy such as Liam Hendriks or Brad Hand and don't add any other key pieces to the rotation, perhaps the dynamic changes.