John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Seth Lugo says the Mets haven't asked him about potentially being used as an opener, as has been reported as a possibility, but he made it clear he's not favor of the idea -- for him or anybody else.
"I don't think an opener belongs in baseball," Lugo said Thursday after pitching in a simulated game. "Starters are starters, you know. I mean, I'm old-school. I like the game the way it's meant to be played.
"I like seeing (Jacob) deGrom go out there and throw seven (innings). I appreciate that a lot more. The way I see it, if the opener throws a clean first inning, then you bring in whoever you want for four or five innings after that. If they don't do well, then you wasted the first guy."
At that point, Lugo was asked what he'd say if the Mets came to him and asked if he'd be willing to do it.
"I don't know," he said with a smile. "I'll let you know if they ask."
In fact, the right-hander said there has been no discussion of how he'll be used this season. He did make it clear, however, that any suggestion his availability is limited by his elbow is incorrect.
"The last couple of years, the availability wasn't about the elbow," he said. "It was about throwing multiple innings. I'm not going to throw multiple innings and then throw again the next day. That's just unrealistic. Guys who do that don't make it very long in this game."
In short, then, Lugo doesn't see the partial tear of his elbow ligament, which was discovered in 2017, as any type of an issue. And certainly the way he pitched last season is proof of that, as he put up a 1.79 ERA in the second half of the season as one of the best relievers in baseball.
Basically, Lugo indicated that he could have closer-type availability if the Mets asked him to pitch one inning at a time. But as to the question of being the closer, he said, "That's their decision, not mine. I feel like I could pitch whenever. It doesn't matter to me."
As for his current availability, after being set back a bit by breaking a bone in his pinky toe early in camp, Lugo said he threw all his pitches in the sim game and indicated there will be no problem being ready to start the season.
When asked how many innings he would need in games to be ready, he said, "I show up (for camp) ready, so I'm not worried about it."