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Mets' Seth Lugo Finally Feels Back To Normal After Full Offseason Of Recovery

Mets reliever Seth Lugo is feeling like himself again after finally getting a full offseason of recovery following spring training elbow surgery last year.
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PORT ST. LUCIE -- Seth Lugo is feeling better than he has health-wise in quite some time. And this could be a key factor for the Mets' bullpen after Aaron Loup left for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency. 

Last year during spring training, the Mets found two large bone spurs in Lugo's right elbow, which would require surgery that knocked him out of action until June. 

“We didn’t find them until last spring," Lugo told Inside the Mets at Clover Park on Wednesday, of his bone spurs. "You can’t really tell exactly when they were there and started having effects on how I was feeling. 

"But because of the size of (the bone spurs), we believe they were in there for a few years. Our surgeon said he hadn’t seen one that big."

Despite getting both bone spurs removed from his elbow, the right-hander admitted that his 2021 campaign was a struggle because he never received a full period of recovery. Following his surgery, he began a throwing program six weeks later and was eventually activated from the injured list on June 2.

But after returning from his procedure, he did not feel like himself on the mound last season. To be fair, Lugo still posted a 3.50 ERA in 46 appearances, but he wasn't the same lights out hurler he once was out of the Mets' bullpen in previous seasons.

On a positive note, Lugo believes his elbow is back to normal after finally getting a full offseason of rest and recovery.

“Last year was tough because I never really recovered," Lugo said. "After an offseason where I could get the rest that I needed, I feel a lot better."

In seasons past, Lugo has been able to give the Mets multi-inning appearances in relief. However, this would cause him to be unavailable for one or several days afterwards.

Now that the 31-year-old is healthy, he is more optimistic that he can bounce-back quicker after tossing more than one inning in an appearance. 

“I have a lot more confidence in that than in years past," Lugo said. "I’ve thrown a couple times down here and I’m recovering fast and feel more normal. I’m hoping that carries over into the regular-season and I’m feeling like this the whole way through.

"I’m excited to see how often I can pitch and how available I can be. My elbow hasn’t felt this good in a couple years now."

Lugo went onto reveal that he used to deal with swelling the day after he pitched, which would hinder his ability to recover between appearances. But after finally receiving the proper rest during the offseason, he is no longer behind the rest of the pitching staff in this area. 

“As far as recovery, that’s a lot easier now," Lugo said. "I’m not swelling up after I pitch now. I feel really good the next day. (My elbow) is rebounding as it should. It’s not a question of why I’m feeling worse than other guys anymore. It’s a relief that (bone spurs) are gone. I’m feeling really good and I’m excited for this year.”

An additional bonus of Lugo's fully-healed elbow is that it has allowed him to throw his best pitch with more ease. Lugo's rejuvenated elbow has given him the proper arm speed and action he needs to make his curveball more consistent. This has improved his ability to better locate it in camp. 

Lugo suffered a slightly torn UCL in his right elbow in 2017, which did not require surgery. He proceeded to pitch across the next three seasons until the Mets discovered multiple bone spurs in his arm last spring. 

Lugo now believes his elbow troubles are a thing of the past. And the Mets can only hope that he reverts back to the lockdown reliever he once was in previous seasons in order to enhance their bullpen.