Back on June 30th the New York Mets promoted right-hander Seth Lugo to the major league roster. He threw two innings of shutout relief against the Chicago Cubs on July 1st, was sent back to the minors, but then was called back up this morning. Let's take a look.
First, the basic background from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book
Seth Lugo, RHP, New York Mets
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 185 DOB: November 17, 1989
Lugo was a 34th round pick in 2011 from Centenary College in Louisiana. His career was almost ruined by a serious back injury but he’s worked his way back over the last two seasons with consistent performance in the high minors, including five solid starts in the PCL late in 2015. He could see the majors in 2016. Lugo features a low-90s fastball and a decent curve, his stuff playing up because of sharp control. He has been durable since the back problem was resolved and has some chance to be an inning-eating number four/five starter or a bullpen option that you can stretch out a bit. Grade C.
Lugo posted a 3.84 ERA in 136 innings in the high minors in 2015, including a 4.00 ERA with a 30/5 K/BB in 27 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas, very credible numbers for the Pacific Coast League. He's made 16 starts and six relief appearances for Vegas this year, resulting in an unsightly 6.55 ERA and 97 hits in 69 innings, but with a very good 55/18 K/BB. He's been much more effective since moving to the bullpen in mid-June and that seems like his role going forward.
Lugo was in the low-90s as a starter but throws harder when used in the pen, topping out at 96 in his MLB debut. He has a curve in the 70s, mixing with sliders and change-ups in the 80s. He generally throws strikes and as noted he's been durable since overcoming the back injury.
The improved velocity in bullpen use increases his margin for error; add that to a diverse arsenal of secondary pitches and you have an arm that can fit nicely in the back of the bullpen. He may be an 11th/12th man, but that's still a nice thing to find in the 34th round.