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In running for 'pen spot, Lugo to rest sore arm

March 31, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Mets' final roster spot is likely going to come down to health.Right-hander Seth Lugo approached the Mets earlier this week complaining of a tired arm. Originally scheduled to come out of the bullpen in the Mets' since-cancelled exhibition game against Army, Lugo did not throw at

NEW YORK -- The Mets' final roster spot is likely going to come down to health.
Right-hander Seth Lugo approached the Mets earlier this week complaining of a tired arm. Originally scheduled to come out of the bullpen in the Mets' since-cancelled exhibition game against Army, Lugo did not throw at all during a mandatory workout day Friday at Citi Field. Lugo's hope is that a few days of rest will have him ready for Opening Day, which may be all he needs to win the job over Rafael Montero.
"It's just a little soreness," Lugo said. "I'm just going to take a couple days to make sure I'm ready for the season."
No Mets pitcher took on a bigger spring workload than Lugo, who threw 26 1/3 innings between Grapefruit League games and the World Baseball Classic. Lugo's final spring outing, his first since returning from the Classic, came in direct competition with Zack Wheeler for the Mets' fifth-starter competition -- a battle that Lugo ultimately lost, giving up four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings in the outing on Monday.
"That might have been where I got my arm a little tired, was just trying to do a bit too much that last outing in spring, trying to have the same intensity I had in the World Baseball Classic," Lugo said. "I think I just didn't know that I needed to back off a little bit, focus on getting ready for the season."
Even so, if Lugo can convince the Mets he is healthy, he stands a good chance of beating out Montero for the team's final bullpen spot. Handicapping that competition earlier this week, general manager Sandy Alderson said that Lugo "pitched well for us last year and pitched well for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic," while "Montero has experienced a kind of renaissance and pitched extremely well here, but doesn't really have the track record."
In nine spring relief appearances and one start, Montero posted a 1.77 ERA, striking out 23 batters and 20 1/3 innings. Lugo finished with a 4.78 combined ERA in spring exhibitions and the Classic.
The loser of that competition will stretch out as a starter at Triple-A Las Vegas.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.