Mets pitchers and catchers don't officially have to report to spring training until next week, but Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz were among the players already in Port St. Lucie to get in some early workouts.
Familia, coming off of one of his worst seasons, was seen looking noticeably slimmer, telling reporters he lost about 30 pounds this offseason, down to around 238-240 pounds from the 270 he was last season.
After signing back with the Mets in December 2018, Familia struggled all season long. The right-hander pitched to a 5.70 ERA with a 1.733 WHIP. His command was all over the place, as he walked a whopping 42 batters in just 60.0 innings. He also allowed seven home runs, and by the end of the season, he had lost his spot as a "high-leverage" pitcher in the back end of the bullpen.
Now, thanks in part to the Mets adding former Yankee Dellin Betances in free agency, Familia believes that the Mets' bullpen will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.
"Our bullpen is the best bullpen right now in the big leagues," said Familia. "If everybody's healthy, I think we're going to do something special this year, to win a lot of games."
Even with Familia's struggles last season, the Mets bullpen was able to find some solace in the play of Seth Lugo, who pitched to a 2.70 ERA, a 0.900 WHIP and 11.7 K/9. Justin Wilson also proved to be a solid option out of the pen as well, holding opposing lefties to a .217 average, allowing just 10 hits to left-handed hitters in 57 plate appearances.
So while there's certainly reason for optimism in the bullpen, one big question mark remains: Will Diaz be able to bounce back into dominant form?
Diaz, in his first season in New York, pitched to a 5.59 ERA, blowing seven save opportunities, and posting a 1.379 WHIP.
The dynamic stuff was still there, as Diaz struck out 15.7 batters per nine innings, but he struggled with his mechanics, leading to command issues, specifically with his fastball.
This offseason, Diaz has been working with Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez in order to correct those mechanical issues, and like Familia, he's taking a brighter outlook into 2020.
"After the season was done, I started talking to (Martinez) about how my season was, and after I started throwing and practicing my mechanics I started sending him videos because the guy who I work with in Puerto Rico worked with [Pedro] before when he was in Boston," Diaz said. "He helped me a lot. … Everything was mechanics. He told me if I got everything right, I got a good arm and good potential. I tried to fix everything that he told me and things are going really good.
"I'm really excited, 100 percent excited. I put a lot of work into me and feeling in shape and strong. I'm ready for 2020."