New York Mets reliever Seth Lugo is old-school. He doesn’t like openers in the game and doesn’t think the Mets should employ the new strategy.
The New York Mets have been toying with the idea of a four-man rotation with a different pitcher on the fifth day depending on the matchup. One of the tenets of that strategy is the opener.
The idea being that Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo would pitch an inning or two early in the game and then Steven Matz or Michael Wacha would take their place. That way starters who usually only go five innings would be in the game until the sixth or seventh.
It makes sense and would allow the Mets to play matchups and attempt to maximize their staff every fifth day. Well, Seth Lugo hates the idea.
When asked about the idea by John Harper of SNY, Lugo responded: “I don’t think an opener belongs in baseball.”
Those are harsh words from the one-time starter. It seemed like Lugo would be the exact kind of pitcher who would love the opener idea. It works to his strengths. He would get to go one to three innings at the beginning of the game and hand it off to another pitcher.
It would allow him to be both a reliever and a starting pitcher at the same time. That’s not the case. Lugo is resistant to the new-school method, “Starters are starters, you know. I mean, I’m old-school. I like the game the way it’s meant to be played.”
It’s yet to be seen if Lugo’s opinion is going to affect the Mets plans for their fifth starter spot. Both manager Luis Rojas and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner are known to lean heavily on analytics in their approach, so the opener would fit their style.
This is an interesting first test for the rookie manager. Can he find the balance between his analytic coaching style and managing old-school players?