Lugo, Gsellman Emerging As Lights-Out Relievers

Before the season started, there was much uncertainty surrounding the starting rotation. With a surplus of starting pitchers, nobody was sure who would make the major league rotation and who would be forced to pitch out of the bullpen, or even be sent down to Triple-A.

When all was said and done, Zack Wheeler was sent down to Las Vegas, Jason Vargas went on the disabled list making Seth Lugo the fifth starter and Robert Gsellman sent to the bullpen.

Gsellman has had success in relief in the past, but nobody could have expected how dominant he has been so far. After striking out the side in his first appearance, he has pitched four innings allowing two hits and striking out eight. He hasn’t allowed a run, good for a 0.00 ERA and has struck out a whopping 57.1% of the batters he’s faced.

When he puts a little more behind his sinker it’s not only harder, but moves more with sharper movement and pairs beautifully with his 88-90-mph slider and changeup.

Shortly after Lugo was relegated to bullpen duties, Jason Vargas hurt his hand so Lugo moved to the rotation. However, his start was snowed out so after his start was skipped in favor of Noah Syndergaard, Lugo threw two innings out of the bullpen.

He was perfect, allowing no hits or walks and striking out four in a clearly dominant fashion. In his second appearance against the Nationals Thursday, he pitched one inning allowing one hit, maintaining his 0.00 ERA.

The Mets had a strong bullpen to start the season with Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos and Anthony Swarzak. Add these two guys into the mix (assuming Vargas will regain his rotation spot upon his return) and the Mets have six above-average relievers, all capable of dominating opposing hitters.

The bullpen has pitched 13 straight scoreless innings, lowering their season ERA to a pristine 1.16 ERA. In 23.1 innings they have struck out 34 batters with MLB leading 37.4 K%. By all accounts they have been truly dominant and while they probably won’t finish the season with an ERA that low, one thing is certain — the bullpen is going to be better than 2017.

About Logan Barer 644 Articles
Ever since I experienced Mike Piazza's post 9/11 home run to beat the Braves at Shea, I have been a die-hard Mets fan and exhaustive lover of baseball. I am a recent graduate of Ithaca College where I pitched on the varsity baseball team for four years and have been writing for MetsMerized Online since January of 2015. Follow me on twitter @LBarer32