NEW YORK -- With the season winding into its final days, the Mets have chosen a plan of caution for two of their most valuable relievers.The Mets shut down both Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman prior to their final series of the year against the Marlins, citing workload concerns. Lugo,
NEW YORK -- With the season winding into its final days, the Mets have chosen a plan of caution for two of their most valuable relievers.
The Mets shut down both Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman prior to their final series of the year against the Marlins, citing workload concerns. Lugo, who started five games and relieved in 49 others, finished the season at 101 1/3 innings. Gsellman piled up 80 innings over 68 appearances, exclusively as a reliever.
"We feel that those guys have had outstanding years," manager Mickey Callaway said. "They both finished with a save, on a strong note. They've probably done more than we could have ever asked to this point. And we felt these last three games, we're going to give these younger guys a shot to go out there and nail down the games for us. We feel this is taking care of them heading into the offseason, so they can come back and be even better next year."
In particular, Callaway mentioned rookies Tyler Bashlor and Jacob Rhame as candidates to pitch in late-game situations during the final weekend. Drew Smith and Daniel Zamora have already appeared in such spots frequently throughout the season's final month.
At worst, Lugo and Gsellman will enter the winter as cogs of New York's 2019 bullpen. Lugo, who actually broke camp in the Mets' rotation, still considers himself a starting pitcher, and is a candidate to serve as rotation depth at points next summer. With a 2.66 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning, Lugo established himself this year as one of the game's most successful swingmen.
Gsellman broke into the Majors as a starter, but he has since grown fond of relief work. He posted a 4.28 ERA this summer.
"I think we understand that both of them could start if we need them to," Callaway said. "The good part is we do know that they can both relieve, and they can both start and be effective at it. So we have options."
Earlier this month, the Mets also shut down starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, citing similar workload concerns.
Along with Lugo and Gsellman, Anthony Swarzak, who is under guaranteed contract, will be a significant part of next year's bullpen mix. The team is likely to pursue at least one veteran reliever on the free-agent market to supplement those three.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.