Last night, Seth Lugo was supposed to make his season debut in the rotation, but a rainout on Monday caused the team to change their plans and skip Lugo’s spot in the rotation.
Instead, the right-hander was placed in the bullpen and made his first appearance seventh inning.The 28-year old pitched a perfect two innings and struck out four batters in that span.
This was a nice showing for Lugo, who might not get his chance to make a start, but with the way he pitched in relief on Tuesday, he has all but made himself a lock to get a chance out of the pen.
He looked absolutely dominant, mixing in all four of his pitches and being given the freedom to use his best pitch, his curveball, as much as he wanted to.
While it is only one appearance, it was certainly a flash of dominance that could eventually allow him to find his niche in a relief role.
Mickey Callaway had discussed using Lugo this way in Spring Training, and the idea of having two multi-inning relievers in Lugo and Robert Gsellman, certainly makes everyone feel good considering the uncertainty surrounding the rotation.
Lugo struggled last season as he went 7-5 with a 4.71 ERA, 1.372 WHIP, 3.95 FIP, 85 strikeouts in 101.1 innings pitched. That stat line was very unimpressive to go along with a diminished fastball.
However, the 28-year old is only a year removed from going 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.094 WHIP, 4.33 FIP, 45 strikeouts in 64 innings.
Despite the fact Lugo is not likely to get his chance to be in the starting rotation this season, the dominant display he put on last night should give everyone some hope that he might be able to make himself into a key cog in the Mets bullpen in 2018.