Seth Lugo, RHP
Player Data: Age: 27, B/T: Right/Right
Free Agency: 2023
2017 Primary Stats: 19 G (18 GS), 101.1 IP, 7-5 Record, 4.71 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.372 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 1.1 WAR
Seth Lugo was an important piece to the puzzle in 2016 when the Mets captured the first Wild Card spot. Coming up in July that year, the right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 17 games (eight started). After the conclusion of the season, Lugo pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Coming into the 2017 season, he competed with Robert Gsellman, who also had a nice 2016 campaign, for the fifth spot in the rotation. However, Lugo was diagnosed with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, which sidelined him for the first two months of the season.
He returned in June for his first start, in which he fired seven strong innings against the Atlanta Braves. However, the second-year Met was placed on the disabled list again on Aug. 15 with a right shoulder impingement. In 11 starts over this two month span, Lugo went 5-3 with a 4.85 ERA in 68.2 innings.
Lugo returned to finish his season strong over the final month plus of the season, pitching to a 4.41 ERA (2.79 FIP) in 32.2 innings with a 2-2 record.
At the end of the day, his numbers weren’t exactly where he wanted them to be, but he still pitched through something most other pitchers couldn’t or wouldn’t.
Did You Know:
Lugo clubbed his first big league home run, a solo shot to left center on July 15 versus the Colorado Rockies. He was greeted in the dugout with the silent treatment but went along with it by celebrating himself.
Lugo comes out of the gates guns blazing and looks very strong his first couple times through the order. Over the first two times throughout the order, Lugo owns a 3.16 ERA with a .246/.300/.483 clip against him. After his second time through the order, that ERA inflates to 10.23 with a .311/.438/.534 slash line.
What makes Lugo appealing as a starter is his spin rate. This is a main reason his name was kicked around at the trade deadline, with the Chicago Cubs believing he has true breakout factor.
If the Mets choose to keep Lugo as a starter they have to be wary of two things: One, he is pitching with a partially torn UCL, which is always a big concern, especially with his knack to throw a devastating curveball. And two, that he will be able to give you five or so good innings, but after that, you have to be ready to yank him.
In my opinion, the future for Lugo should be a long man out of the bullpen, or at the back end. His stuff is solid early on, but he might not have the longevity to be a starter over a full season, especially with his track record and injury.
Still, with the Mets seemingly trying to put a strong emphasis on their bullpen, Lugo could be a nice addition as a reliever and a spot starter from time to time.