Manager Mickey Callaway said he prefers to keep Lugo in the bullpen heading into the 2019 season, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering Lugo served exclusively as a reliever during the second half of this past season. He only would up starting five games in 54 appearances while logging a 2.10 ERA and 0.82 WHIP during the final two months. The 29-year-old figures to serve in a high-leverage, multi-inning setup role alongside Robert Gsellman with the recently-acquired Edwin Diaz set to close.
Lugo will be unavailable this weekend due to concerns over his workload, Mike Puma of The New York Post reports. Lugo equaled his 2017 tally in terms of innings pitched (101.1) after earning the save against the Braves on Wednesday. Across 54 appearances (five starts) with the Mets this year, Lugo logged an impressive 2.66 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. With Robert Gsellman also unavailable during the club's final series of the 2018 season, Anthony Swarzak will likely be the next man up for any save situation.
Lugo struck out one in a perfect ninth inning Wednesday to record his third save of the season in a 3-0 win over the Braves. While he hasn't been able to claim the Mets' closer job on a full-time basis down the stretch, Lugo has been exceptional in a high-leverage role, posting a 1.35 ERA and 18:1 K:BB through 13.1 innings in September with two saves and three holds in nine appearances. The 28-year-old should be a key part of the team's bullpen in 2019, but whether he'll be a consistent source of saves remains to be seen.
Lugo gave up a run on one hit while striking five over two innings as he picked up the save Sunday against the Phillies. Lugo gave up a solo home run in the ninth inning, but he managed to slam the door for his second save of the 2018 season. New York's closer situation is currently a bit messy, but Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak figure to get the first crack in save situations during the final month of the season. Lugo owns a 2.75 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 94 strikeouts through 95 innings this year.
Lugo worked around a pair of hits in a scoreless inning of work to earn his first save of the season Sunday against the Marlins. Spotted a one-run lead, Lugo allowed the leadoff man to reach before inducing a double-play ball. The following batter reached as well, but the right-hander was able to induce another goundball out to close out the victory. The save was also the first of Lugo's career, and he could continue seeing opportunities to close with the Mets bullpen lacking a clear pecking order at the moment.