Lugo & Gsellman Are Pitching for the Postseason
Every time the Mets run Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman to the mound, they’re out there trying to help the Mets return to the postseason. They’re also making their own case why the Mets should put them on the postseason roster.
Assuming the Mets make it back to the postseason, there is little guaranteed on who will and who won’t be on the postseason roster. In fact, as it stands today, Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon are the only two starting pitchers who will be guaranteed a spot on the postseason roster. If, and it is becoming a bigger if with each passing day, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom can return from their injuries, they will be guaranteed not only a spot on the roster, but also a start in the postseason.
Assuming deGrom and Matz can return for the postseason, there will still be room in the bullpen. Last season, the Mets went with 11 pitchers in the bullpen. The Mets were given that luxury, in part, because the team carried Colon and Jon Niese in the bullpen. This gave the Mets a number of pitchers who could go multiple innings out of the bullpen. Coupled with a starting rotation that could go deep into game, the Mets were able to add the extra bat on the bench. Looking at the Mets bullpen as constituted, there are few absolutely guaranteed spots:
With teams only needing four starters in the postseason, that leaves two open spots in the postseason bullpen.
If deGrom and Matz are able to pitch in the postseason, that means Lugo, Gsellman, and Montero will be competing for the last two spots in the bullpen most likely with Josh Smoker and Jim Henderson. If the Mets want to go with two lefties in the bullpen, Smoker could have the inside track. While he has been touched in three of his nine appearances, Smoker has shown he can strike people out. Currently, he strikes out 14.5 batters per nine innings, which is only slightly higher than his 12.8 strikeout per nine figure in AAA. If Smoker keeps striking people out, it is going to be hard to justify leaving him off the postseason roster.
Given his early season success, Henderson presumably has an excellent chance of being on the postseason roster. However, each and every time Henderson takes the mound, he makes a case why the Mets can’t trust him in a big spot. In his six appearances since coming off the disabled list, Henderson has a 7.20 ERA and has allowed opponents to hit .318 off of him.
If the Mets went with Smoker and Henderson, there may still be a spot for Lugo and Gsellman if the Mets decide to go with 12 pitchers this offseason. In that scenario, there would be one last bullpen available that would most likely go to Lugo or Gsellman. That means with every start, Lugo and Gsellman are not just pitching against the opponent, but also each other.
Overall, in order for Lugo and Gsellman to help their chances for a postseason roster spot, and for the Mets to even make the postseason, they are going to have to go out there and continue pitching as well as they have been.