Mets pitcher Seth Lugo throws during a spring training workout...

Mets pitcher Seth Lugo throws during a spring training workout on Feb. 16 at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Count Seth Lugo as one baseball person who is not in favor of the concept of an opener.

Even if he ends up being one for the Mets this season.

"I don't think an opener belongs in baseball," Lugo said on Thursday after throwing 29 pitches in a simulated game. "Starters are starters, you know? I mean, I'm old-school. I like the game the way it's meant to be played.

“I don’t like seeing it. I like seeing [Jacob] deGrom go out there and throw seven. I appreciate that a lot more. The way I see it, if the opener throws a clean first inning, then you bring in whoever you want for four or five innings after that, if they don't do well, then you wasted the first guy. It just makes sense to stick with the starter. That’s the way the game’s always been played.”

And if the Mets ask Lugo to open games this season?

"I don't know," he said. "I'll let you know if they ask."

Understand this: Lugo was just responding to questions after his outing and said the Mets haven’t discussed a role with him for 2020. The versatile 30-year-old righthander is trying to make up for lost time after he suffered a broken pinky toe in a freakish hotel accident last month.

In 2019, Lugo pitched in 61 games out of the bullpen and went 7-4 with a 2.70 ERA and six saves. In 80 innings, he struck out 104.

The Mets are hoping for bounce-back seasons from Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia and signed Dellin Betances as a free agent. Lugo has the stuff to be a starter (his preferred role) or closer, but the Mets prefer to deploy him as a multiple-inning weapon.

“I haven’t given it any thought,” he said of his bullpen role. “If I think about that, then I’m not thinking about executing pitches.”

Lugo entered the simulated game in the middle, by the way, and threw 29 pitches. He hasn’t pitched in a spring training game yet but said he got the same benefits out of the simulated game (pitching to Mets personnel on a back field under controlled conditions in front of a handful of fans) as he would if he had pitched against another club in a stadium with paying fans.

“I consider a sim game a spring training game,” Lugo said. “You get the adrenaline out there. You get the hitters out there and the fielders behind you . . . Those hard-hit balls, I was dogging myself out there.”

One of the hard-hit balls Lugo allowed was a single to top Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio. The 18-year-old shortstop got the better of Lugo to complete an intense eight-pitch at-bat.

“I thought he put a really good AB together,” Lugo said. “I threw him some really good pitches. That was an impressive at-bat. Finally got the hit off the slider. He wasn’t missing anything else. Put a good swing on it.”

Lugo said he expects to make his spring training debut in his next outing. He is convinced he will be ready well before the season opener on March 26 against the Nationals at Citi Field and will be prepared to pitch in whatever inning the Mets want him to in the regular season.

Just not the first one, please.