Mets pitcher Seth Lugo, who filled in admirably last year when the team’s starting rotation had several significant injuries, will start for Puerto Rico against the United States in the World Baseball Classic on Friday.
In his first outing in the WBC, Lugo was excellent. He threw five-and-one-third scoreless innings, struck out three, didn’t walk anyone, and gave up just one hit. Since the tournament takes place during spring training for the regular season, starting pitchers must not exceed pitch counts defined in the tournament’s rules. In the first round, that number was 65, and in this game, which is part of the second round, the cap is 80 pitches.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Lugo is eligible to play for the Puerto Rican team in the tournament because his grandfather was born in Puerto Rico. In 64.0 innings with the Mets last year, Lugo had a 2.67 ERA and 4.33 FIP. Eight of his seventeen appearances in the big leagues came as a starter.