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Surging Mets Bullpen Loses Important Arm

The New York Mets have one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, the team will be without a key piece for the foreseeable future. The Mets placed lefty Brooks Raley on the injured list with left elbow inflammation before Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers. New York recalled righty Grant Hartwig from Triple-A in a corresponding move.

Raley appeared in eight games this season and posted a spectacular 0.00 ERA with nine punch-outs and three walks. He represented the top lefty in a surprisingly strong Mets bullpen while pairing with Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz as the main options in high-leverage situations.

But New York will look to continue its hot streak without their top southpaw.

New York Mets Place Brooks Raley on the Injured List

While Raley’s sweeper has frequently been his best pitch, he has increased his reliance on it this season. He has thrown the pitch almost 48 percent of the time, which would represent a career-high.

In early April, Raley told reporters he threw the pitch more in one outing just because it felt good that day. But at this point, the increased usage seems like a strategic decision that has paid off handsomely.

In Raley’s absence, fellow lefty Jake Diekman will assume more responsibility. The Mets signed the 37-year-old this offseason to support Raley in the bullpen. While he has done a decent job this year (110 ERA+), the Mets have used him mostly in low-leverage situations.

Diekman could pitch more important innings, but New York will likely spread Raley’s duties to him and righties Drew Smith and Reed Garrett. Both righties have had excellent seasons while keeping lefties in check. Each have earned more trust from manager Carlos Mendoza in recent weeks and can continue earning more with Raley on the injured list.

New York can also turn to Josh Walker and Joey Lucchesi as lefties in Triple-A that are on the 40-man roster. Plus, Nate Lavender and Tyler Jay might represent equally as intriguing options in Triple-A despite not holding a 40-man spot.

Losing Raley is a huge blow for a Mets bullpen that has the most strikeouts in the league. But David Stearns has a reputation for building bullpens on the fly, and the depth he has proudly built will be tested early.

Main Photo Credits: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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