WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on May 14, 2019 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

New York Mets reliever Seth Lugo will be sidelined to start spring training, undergoing elbow surgery to remove a bone spur.

The New York Mets will be without reliever Seth Lugo to kick off the 2021 campaign. Lugo will undergo elbow surgery to remove a bone spur and will not be able to throw during spring training.

It’s a tough break for Lugo and the Mets. Lugo had settled into his bullpen role very nicely after struggling as a starter in 2017. He posted a sub-three ERA over 181.1 innings in 2018 and 2019 before struggling in a hybrid role in the shortened 2020 season. And since the Mets are now playoff contenders with some rotation depth, he could have thrived in a full-time bullpen role in 2021.

Unfortunately, he’ll have to play catch up to start the season as he’ll likely miss the entirety of spring training.

Luckily, the Mets have the bullpen depth to withstand his absence at the beginning of the year. They added Trevor May, Miguel Castro and Aaron Loup this off-season. Coupled with Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia and bounce-back candidate Dellin Betances and the Mets should have no problem weathering the loss of Lugo.

Lugo will be an important piece of the puzzle when he does return. The Mets bullpen has often been the team’s undoing, and they finally took steps this off-season to add some stability. They have one of the best rotations in baseball and an absolutely lethal lineup. The NL East is maybe the toughest division in baseball this year, but they have a really good chance of returning to the postseason.

Being able to lock down games in the late innings will be critical for this team. And Lugo’s absence to start the year certainly won’t make that any easier.

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