For relief help, Mets should phone a friend

Going into the later innings of a Mets game last season was to say the least, nerve wracking. The 4.96 ERA that the bullpen brought in the later innings was the source of frustration for Mets players and fans, as well as losses for the team. Mets fans were reminded of this weak spot in their team when general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made his first signing with the team, left-handed reliever Ryan O’Rourke. O’Rourke has not pitched in the majors since 2016 when he was a member of the Minnesota Twins. When with the Twins, O’Rourke had an ERA of 4.98, with a WHIP of 1.26.

A signing like that of O’Rourke just goes to show the lack of depth that this team currently has at the bullpen position. On the team right now, there are currently two relievers who can truly be trusted late in games. Seth Lugo was extremely successful in his transition to the bullpen, posting a career low ERA of 2.66, while reaching 101.1 innings pitched for the second consecutive starter. While his dynamic ability to pitch long relief as well as pick up an occasional spot start is impressive, you can’t pencil him in for the closer role. Lugo had 3 last season, compared to the other reliever who is penciled in, Robert Gsellman, who had 13. Gsellman finished with an ERA of 4.28, which is not indicative of the way that he pitched. Gsellman had a solid season in relief and will be a part of the bullpen come 2019.

Beyond the two mentioned, the bullpen is bare bones. There is a gaggle of relievers, Daniel Zamora, Tyler Bashlor, and Tim Peterson, who have shown flashes in the pan in terms of success. Without being able to sustain their successes however, they will not be valuable to the bullpen. Inconsistency has hurt the team in the past, and it will hurt them as long as they let it. With this in mind, it is obvious that Van Wagenen needs to sign some bullpen help beyond O’Rourke.

For help this year in the bullpen, all the general manager needs to do is open up the rolodex and dial up Jeurys Familia. After trading away Familia to the soaring Oakland A’s last season, Familia has hit free agency. The Mets should steal a play from the book of their cross town rival, and bring back the reliever that they traded away. Familia was a vital member of the bullpen for the A’s while they chased down a spot in the wild card game. He set up for Blake Treinen, who had a fantastic season closing games in Oakland.

With the Mets however, Familia would be able to slip back into his familiar role of closer. One of the best things about the market for relief pitching this season is that with names like Craig Kimbrel and Andrew Miller out there, Familia’s price tag might fall. It would be the perfect opportunity for the Mets to sign a productive closer, and better yet, bring a great Met back home.

10 comments for “For relief help, Mets should phone a friend

  1. Pete from NJ
    November 17, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Even though Familia makes me nervous with his command issues he certainly is right in the middle of the free agent class. Combined with let’s say Britton from the left side, the team has a bullpen for 2019.

    So agreed our old friend comes back on a three year deal.

    • Michael
      November 17, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I agree with you that Familia can really make one nervous and I agree that I really want him back. At times he reminded me of Doug Sisk in loading the bases before getting the first out, but when he is on he can be lights out. I think he really enjoyed playing here and that signing him to a reasonable contract should not be a problem.

      • November 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

        Britton’s k rate has gone down and his walk rate has doubled I’d pass on him.

  2. November 17, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Familia imo is the best reliever the Mets ever had and I’d be glad to have him back. The Thor rumors are nuts if they trade him they’re not committed to winning. If the Wilpons were committed to winning they’d bring in a number 4 starter instead of trading their number two starter.

    • TexasGusCC
      November 17, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Isn’t Matz their 4? David, they can’t score runs, you want to add pitching?

      • November 17, 2018 at 9:54 am

        Matz has pitched like a number 5 the last few years and sign Donaldson and Grandal and the offense gets much better.

        • Mike Walczak
          November 17, 2018 at 5:53 pm

          No thanks on Donaldson. He will be 33 next month and he was no very good last year.

  3. TJ
    November 17, 2018 at 10:14 am

    I like Familia and would be fine with a return so long as he is one of two high end arms brought in. And if Lugo ends up being a starter they’ll need a third proven pen arm at the least.

    Certainly they need to improve run scoring but the pen is as big a need, maybe even bigger.

  4. Pete from NJ
    November 17, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Gus, you’re starting to scare me into a doomed season.

    Yesterday’s Trout theory made me think. Trade pitching for offense and transpose all pitch/no hit team to an all hit no pitch team.

    There’s a tight rope here and I’m ready to fall off.
    I hate to think that young Peter’s shoulders are going to feel the pressure.

  5. Jimbo
    November 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Familia or Britton would be a good start.

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