Now that the Mets have settled their bullpen situation by retaining lefty Jerry Blevins and right hander Fernando Salas let’s look at how it could set up. With the upcoming suspension for closer Jeurys Familia looming the Mets have a few decisions to make for the beginning of the season.
Familia is facing at least a 30-game suspension, stemming from a domestic violence arrest last October. He is coming off a year in which he put up a 2.55 ERA in 77.2 IP with 84 K’s and 31 walks allowed. He set a Met’s club record with 51 saves. Luckily for the Mets they have a solid backup plan for Familia in setup man Addison Reed.
Addison Reed is coming off a dominant 2016 campaign. In what was possibly one of the best seasons for a Mets relief pitcher ever he posted a 1.97 ERA in 77.2 IP with 91 K’s and 13 walks allowed. He put up 40 Holds and 1 Save. He was the lynchpin to the team’s bullpen and should be able to flourish in the closers role while Familia is serving his suspension.
Reed becoming the team’s de facto closer, the role of setup man will be up for grabs. The two most likely candidates to take over the position will be righties Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas. Robles has flashed the ability to be a high leverage late inning pitcher with a lively fastball that averaged 95 MPH last season he has the fire as well as the attitude to be a late inning option. Entering his third full season of big league ball the team is hoping he blossoms this season.
Fernando Salas was retained on a one year pact for three million dollars. This is following a late year trade from the Angels in which he helped to solidify the Mets bullpen pitching in the seventh inning role and only surrendering four runs in 17.1 IP. He should have the inside track on the eighth inning role, though Terry Collins may opt to leave him in the seventh inning role he is accustomed to.
The Mets also brought back reliever Jerry Blevins on a one year deal for six and a half million dollars and a team option for seven million dollars with a one million buyout. When healthy he has been everything the team could hope for and more. Last year he also emerged as a left-handed reliever, with the ability to get out batters from the both sides of the plate. He allowed a .250 batting average facing lefties while allowing an impressive .172 batting average versus right handers. Bringing back both Blevins and Salas has helped to solidify the Mets bullpen which emerged as a strength last season.
The remaining spots should be filled by a combination of Seth Lugo, Josh Smoker, Josh Edgin, and whomever doesn’t win the fifth starters role out of Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler. These pitchers have a lot of upside and should help to round out a very strong bullpen for the Mets entering the 2017 season.