Washington Nationals Editorial: How does the Nats Bullpen Stack Up in the NL East?

Sep 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) looks in for the sign during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Baltimore Orioles defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon (58) looks in for the sign during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Baltimore Orioles defeated Washington Nationals 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Mets

Mets relievers appeared in a combined 460.0 innings in 2015, putting up an ERA of 3.48 while compiling 446 strikeouts, 170 walks, and 50 saves and holding opposing hitters to a .233 batting average against.

New York comes in at number two on these rankings less than a few days removed from watching five year veteran Jenrry Mejia receive a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for failing a third straight PED drug test. Despite that, the Mets’ bullpen will be a pivotal key to their success in 2016.

Jeurys Familia will retain his role as closer after recording 43 saves for New York last season. Although he managed to blow three saves during the World Series, his 0.61 ERA throughout the playoffs is no small feat. Recently acquired lefty Antonio Bastardo will be looking to take over the set-up role, hoping to carry over his success in Pittsburgh from last season.

Bastardo won’t be the only man handling eighth inning duties, however. 27-year old Addison Reed had the lowest ERA on the team last year among players who made at least eight appearances. Hansel Robles is still appealing a three-game suspension he received September 30th, and could begin the year on the shelf for the opening series. However, he too could make a push for a late inning role midseason.

After the departures of Tyler Clippard and Bobby Parnell, an interesting Spring Training battle will be held between former Nat Jerry Blevins, left-hander Sean Gilmartin, and other experienced arms including Logan Verrett, Rafael Montero, and Erik Goeddel.

Next: #1 Bullpen in the NL East