Lugo allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts over three innings in a no-decision Wednesday against the Rockies.
An error to open the second inning put Lugo in the rough spot of having to get four outs at Coors field, which helped build up his pitch count to the point where he had already thrown 72 (just 40 strikes) after three frames. Lugo still has a nasty 20:3 K:BB in three starts since Noah Syndergaard went down with a finger injury, and one rough outing marred by poor defense at the toughest pitchers park in the league shouldn't dissuade anybody who was excited about Lugo's potential. He'll take a 2.85 ERA into his next turn Monday against Pittsburgh.
Lugo picked up the win in his first turn filling in for the injured Noah Syndergaard with a brilliant outing in his last start, but he didn't fare as well against Arizona, as he was victimized by a pair of long balls from Paul Goldschmidt and Daniel Descalso. While it wasn't as inspiring a showing as his last effort, Lugo's numbers on the season that include a 2.49 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP over 50.2 innings as both a reliever and a starter are still strong. He's also in line to keep getting starts in the interim with Syndergaard's return date still up in the air, so he should get more of a chance to prove he can thrive in the expanded role.
Lugo, who will start Friday's game against the Diamondbacks, should remain in the Mets rotation for the foreseeable future with Noah Syndergaard (finger) facing an indefinite return date, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
After Lugo spun six shutout innings against a powerful Yankees lineup over the weekend, there was some thought that the right-hander might assume the rotation spot of fifth starter Jason Vargas, who has struggled to a 7.71 ERA and 1.75 WHIP this season. With Syndergaard's return timeline pushed back, however, there will be room in the rotation for both hurlers until further notice. Lugo has been exceptional this season in his role as a multi-inning reliever and occasional spot starter, giving up only three runs in 31.1 innings since the beginning of May while posting a 34:2 K:BB. While Lugo's numbers have undoubtedly been aided by him being able to max out his velocity in the shorter-burst outings, it's worth noting that in his appearance against the Yankees -- his longest of the season -- the right-hander's four-seamer averaged 94.9 miles per hour, per Brooks Baseball. That's three ticks better than what his four-seamer averaged in 2017, offering optimism that Lugo may be able to continue to perform effectively while assuming a starter's workload.
Lugo is penciled in to start Friday in Arizona, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.
If Noah Syndergaard (finger) was ready to return over the weekend, one of Lugo or Jason Vargas, who starts Saturday, would likely be bumped from the rotation. Syndergaard is getting a second opinion on his finger, though, so both pitchers will remain starters for the time being. Lugo impressed with six shutout innings and eight strikeouts Sunday against the Yankees and owns an excellent 1.77 ERA through 45.2 innings (mostly in relief) so far this season.
Though he was limited to 84 pitches Sunday while starting for just the second time in his 23 appearances of the season, Lugo was brilliant throughout the evening, spinning six shutout innings while striking out eight and allowing just two baserunners. Lugo has proven similarly effective in his extended relief outings and maintains a stellar 1.77 ERA and 0.85 WHIP for the season, so it would certainly seem that he's deserving of a more vital role on the Mets' pitching staff. While the Mets have yet to confirm whether Lugo's next appearance will come in relief or as a starter, the team may have set in motion the right-hander's addition to the rotation by skipping Jason Vargas' initially scheduled turn Tuesday against the Braves, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The Mets will next require a fifth starter over the weekend in Arizona, so it should be clear at that time whether Lugo or Vargas sticks in the rotation.
|6/24/2018 vs Los Angeles|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||2||2||2.53||5||5||0||0||0||32.0||22||9||9||2||1||6||39|
|2014||AFA-St. Lucie Mets||8||3||4.11||27||4||0||0||3||105.0||100||55||48||12||4||38||114|
|2015||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||2||2||4.00||5||5||0||0||0||27.0||27||13||12||3||2||5||30|
|2016||AAA-Las Vegas 51s||3||4||6.50||21||14||0||0||0||73.1||103||63||53||10||1||20||62|
|2017||AFA-St. Lucie Mets||0||1||8.10||2||1||0||0||0||6.2||9||7||6||2||1||1||4|