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Mets would rather use Robert Gsellman for one-inning outings

Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman kicks the mound

Mets relief pitcher Robert Gsellman kicks the mound after Nationals shortstop Trea Turner scores during the eighth inning at Citi Field on April 17. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Robert Gsellman’s transition to reliever has quietly taken a traditional step forward the past couple of weeks. The Mets prefer to use him in one-inning outings, and entering Sunday, he had pitched one inning or less in each of his past six appearances.

Callaway cited a desire to have Gsellman (2.95 ERA) available more often and said his increased effectiveness in shorter outings is another reason for the usage change. “It’s definitely not a health issue,” Callaway said. “It’s more us having a better pen on a consistent basis.”

Callaway made an exception Sunday, when Gsellman pitched two scoreless innings in a 2-0 win over the Yankees. Gsellman worked around Jose Reyes’ two errors and a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth.

“When a guy comes down the steps and says ‘I’ve got it,’ you’ve got to let him have it,” Callaway said of using Gsellman for a second inning. “He wanted it and he went out and got the job done.”

Gsellman, a starter by trade who moved to the bullpen in spring training when the rotation appeared more than full, became a multi-inning weapon in April, posting a 1.80 ERA. He pitched more than one inning 10 times in his first 23 games.

Those longer outings, however, require more rest. The Mets’ preference is for him to be available more days, even if it means using more relievers to get through a given game. Bullpen depth is particularly important as the Mets try to get by without Jeurys Familia (sore right shoulder) and Seth Lugo (spot start Sunday against the Yankees).

“That’s one of the things we were trying to balance early with having he and Lugo in the bullpen,” Callaway said. “When you pitch them, you want to use them multiple innings. Well, once you do that, then they need several days down sometimes. Then your bullpen becomes thin for a few days after you pitch them.”

Said the ever-relaxed Gsellman: “Just go with the role. Whatever the manager says.”

He noted that there is more to multi-inning outings than mere out totals. “When you go multiple innings, you feel it a little more,” he said. “It’s more pitches and you’re sitting down, so you have to re-warm up, plus you count the warmup pitches. So you’re a little more sore.”

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