Angels free agent target: Seth Lugo

Sep 7, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches
Sep 7, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo (67) pitches / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Angels need more bullpen help. As of now, there are probably six relievers solidified in the Angels bullpen. Those pitchers include Jimmy Herget, Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera, Jose Quijada, Jaime Barria, and Andrew Wantz.

The Angels should look into free agency to add at least two, maybe even three relievers.

Seth Lugo is an intriguing free agent target for the Angels to pursue.

Right now, outside of Loup and Tepera, the reliever with the most service time in the Angels bullpen is Jaime Barria at three years and 35 days of service. This shows how young and inexperienced this bullpen is. Seth Lugo would be a nice veteran presence who should bring a lot of production as well to this bullpen.

Lugo is a 33-year-old who has spent his entire career with the New York Mets. He came onto the scene in 2016 as a starter but transitioned full-time into a reliever in 2019. He had a 2.70 ERA that season in 61 appearances and 80 innings pitched. He was a key piece down the stretch when the Mets were pushing for a playoff spot.

The Mets toyed around with the idea of moving him to the rotation in 2020, but that didn't go well and he hasn't made a start since.

He has a five-pitch mix which is uncommon for a reliever but it's part of what makes him stand out. His best pitch is his curveball which opponents hit just .159 against this past season with a 30.8% whiff rate. It's in the 99th percentile in spin according to baseball savant.

Lugo as a reliever has a 2.91 ERA in 237 appearances compared to his 4.35 ERA as a starter in 38 starts. If the Angels sign him, it should be as a reliever.

Because of his experience as a starter, Lugo has been used consistently as a multi-inning reliever. This is great to help other relievers get rest.

Lugo is also a pitcher the Angels can use in just about any situation. He held lefties to a .167/.230/.284 slash line with three home runs in 113 plate appearances this past season. The three-batter rule doesn't affect him in the slightest and the Angels can trust him to get guys like Yordan Alvarez and Corey Seager out in a big spot.

Lugo has some experience as a closer (16 career saves) but is predominantly a set-up man. The Angels need someone more reliable than Tepera and Loup to serve in that role and Lugo fits the bill.

The one negative with Lugo is he's horrible pitching on a second straight day. He has a 4.40 ERA in 30 appearances on zero days' rest. He has ERA's below 3.00 on one, two, three, four, and five days of rest in between appearances. If the Angels manage him well and avoid using him on back-to-back days as much as possible, they'll get the most out of him.

Lugo can be used to pitch in a single inning or for multiple innings. He can be used late in games or early in games if need be. His versatility makes him a very interesting free agent target for this Angels bullpen and one I think they should strongly consider.

Next. How does the Angels rotation stack up against the rest?. dark

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