Following the New York Mets win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, manager Luis Rojas announced that Seth Lugo will be moving to the rotation and will make the start Thursday night. The Mets rotation has been decimated with injuries, and with Steven Matz struggling, New York is opting to place Lugo in the rotation.
Starting Lugo is undoubtedly a risky move for the Mets. While their rotation is in shambles, the back end of the bullpen is also very shaky. It was never more evident in Wednesday night’s game when New York led 3-1 heading into the eighth.
On most nights when Lugo is available, the Mets go their star pitcher for a six-out save. That was a possibility, but New York opted to go with Dellin Betances and Edwin Diaz to get them through the game. Fortunately, after the Mets blew the lead, Michael Conforto hit a game-winning two-run homer in the ninth inning.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 20, 2020
Still, the Mets are going to need to stretch out Lugo before he can get deep into games. He has yet to pitch more than two innings in any appearance. The team has insisted that Lugo would not be a starter. He has not started a game since the 2018 season, where he made five starts. However, Lugo has made it clear that he wants to be a starter and the Mets have finally given in.
Rojas is going to need to count on Betances, Diaz, and Jeurys Familia to pitch well in the back end of the bullpen. Also, Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, and Brad Brach will be extremely important with the Mets moving their best reliever into the rotation.
This move also means that Matz will not start on Thursday. There has been no question that the left-hander has struggled this season. However, Matz is going to need to be a piece for this team to compete as the number two starter.
Other than Jacob deGrom, the Mets are rolling out Rick Porcello along with Corey Oswalt and Robert Gsellman with both Michael Wacha and David Peterson on the injured list. They have already had Marcus Stroman opt-out and lost Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery prior to the start of the season.
In all likelihood, the Mets will use Matz out of the bullpen in low leverage spots for now. Anyway, they are asking a lot from their bullpen with Lugo moving to the rotation. Matz also has struggled in his first innings throughout his career, so it will be interesting to see how he performs after the demotion.
Lugo’s first start will be a big one as the Mets look for the four-game series sweep in Miami. It would also move the Mets to one-game under .500 with the New York Yankees coming to town on Friday night for a three-game series.
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