Mickey Callaway talked to reporters on Thursday about the possible look of the Mets Opening Day bullpen, and he’s still unsure if the team will carry seven or eight relievers according to Matt Ehalt of The Record.
One decision has already been made, Callaway said that both Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman will work strictly as relievers this spring, “That allows us to keep those guys in the bullpen and become that much better of a team and a bullpen.”
Lugo threw 101 innings during the 2018 season with 78.1 of them coming as a reliever (he also made five starts). Gsellman carried a heavy workload out of the pen as well, ranking eighth in baseball with 80 relief innings.
The Mets signed multiple left-handed relievers this offseason including Justin Wilson, Hector Santiago (has starting experience as well), Luis Avilan, and Ryan O’Rourke. Wilson is guaranteed a spot in the bullpen, while the other three were signed to minor league deals.
Left-hander Daniel Zamora also shined in his MLB debut last year with a 3.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts in nine innings. Callaway is still undecided on whether the team will carry two lefties, “As manager I’d like to have that second lefty. But I don’t think it’s a necessity based on what we built.”
Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia, both acquired this offseason, are locks to pitch in high leverage situations. Wilson, Gsellman, and Lugo all being locks gives the Mets five relievers. If the Mets carry one of the aforementioned lefties that gets them to six, and possibly only more open spot.
That last spot could come down to Rule 5 draftee Kyle Dowdy or right-handers Jacob Rhame, Tyler Bashlor, Eric Hanhold, Tim Peterson, Walker Lockett, and Paul Sewald. All of them are currently on the 40-man roster giving them the inside track over arms like Ryder Ryan, Arquimedes Caminero, Stephen Villines, Joshua Torres, and Corey Taylor. All of whom are in camp as non-roster invitees.
The Mets decided to go with 12 pitchers on their Opening Day roster for 2018 but it remains to be seen if they do the same this season.