2024 Mets bullpen

Why the 2024 Mets Bullpen Will Be Successful

One of the strengths for the New York Mets heading into the 2024 season has to be the bullpen, an area of the team that struggled last year. With Edwin Díaz returning as the closer after missing all of last season due to injury, that sets a high tone for the bullpen’s ethic in 2024.

However, Díaz’s return is not the only reason why there is so much potential for the Mets 2024 bullpen. They’ve signed some reliable pitchers in free agency, including one of them who they re-signed. Here are a few reasons why the Mets bullpen will improve tremendously this season.

Three Reasons Why the Mets Bullpen Will Succeed in 2024

The Return of Adam Ottavino

What a huge move this was for the Mets. They re-signed Adam Ottavino on a one-year, $4.5 million deal, generating an additional spark to the bullpen.

“I love playing in New York,” Ottavino said on SNY’s “Baseball Night in New York. “This just ended up being the best opportunity for me, and I’m definitely glad I’m back with the Mets.”

There are plenty of reasons for Mets fans to be happy that Ottavino is back, starting with his ranks. He ranks among the top National League relief pitchers in ERA the last two seasons (2.62, seventh-ranked) and in games (132, eighth-ranked). He also ranks as a top 10 relief pitcher in strikeouts (780, fifth-ranked), wins (39, sixth-ranked), innings 672.2, seventh-ranked), and appearances (661, eighth-ranked). Thus, he has helped the Mets maintain a winning record of 88-44 when he appears in games. 

Ottavino, 38, will now pitch in New York for the fifth time in his career as he was with the New York Yankees from 2019-2020. On Jan. 27, 2024, the right-hander received the Ben Epstein/Dan Castellano “Good Guy” award from the New York chapter of BBWAA, presented annually to a person who’s excellent with the media.

Clearly, Ottavino is a wonderful person to have in the clubhouse, and he could easily be a good seventh or eighth-inning reliever behind Díaz.

The Signing of Jake Diekman

This is a guy who will serve as a high-leverage arm in the Mets bullpen.

The veteran lefty is coming off a strong season after it began a bit poorly, but he then turned it around after being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. Soon after joining the Rays, Jake Diekman changed up his methods of delivery, which worked out well for him as it helped cut down his walk rate. It also helped him post a 2.18 ERA in 45.1 innings with the Rays.

And, believe it or not, his fastball is among the fastest of any southpaw in Major League Baseball at 90+ mph.

If Diekman can continue to pitch like the way he did with the Rays, it will be tough for hitters to reach base safely or even make contact with his fastball.

The Signing of Shintaro Fujinami

Now, let’s talk about this guy who’s got a huge opportunity to thrive with the Mets as a relief pitcher.

Shintaro Fujinami, 29, signed with the Mets on Feb. 14, 2024, on a one-year deal. From Osaka, Japan, he appeared in 64 games in his rookie year last season with the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, which is the third-most among rookie pitchers. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go well in Oakland, but Baltimore was a different story. With the Orioles, he went 2-0 with a 4.85 ERA and saved a couple games.

One thing to be aware of with Fujinami is how fast his pitches can go. Last season he threw 136 pitches of at least 100 mph, the ninth most in MLB in 2023. Also, let’s not forget that he and Kodai Senga have been working out together in spring training so far. We’ll see if Senga’s help will pay off positively for Fujinami. That plus bouncing back from a better stint in Baltimore would surely make him a great fit for the Mets bullpen in 2024.

What About Other Team Relievers?

Yes, there are other relievers who’ve been with the Mets for a while now. Brooks Raley and Drew Smith are the ones who many fans will watch closely alongside the above-mentioned relievers. It’s also worth noting that if the Mets ever need a long-relief man, Joey Lucchesi could be the answer to that situation. Overall, there are pitchers in this bullpen who have what it takes to help a team win games, and that’s exactly the mentality needed.

Main Image: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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