New York Mets: Firing Dan Warthen will not solve the problems

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 12: Dan Warthen (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 12: Dan Warthen (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

If the New York Mets fire pitching coach Dan Warthen it will not solve anything.

It would be the understatement of the year to say that the season got out of control for the New York Mets. This was going to be the year they put it all together. The starting pitchers were back and healthy. They were going to make the National League look bad.

But then they all started to go down. Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and just about everyone else except for Jacob deGrom. The rotation fell apart, the injuries came to the lineup, and the Mets were nowhere near making the playoffs into a reality. 69 wins as of the writing of this post was not exactly what the team had in mind.

We know that the widespread rumor is that Terry Collins will be gone at the end of the season. I have already said my piece on this, Collins should either retire or be back for 2018. Collins should get votes for Manager of the Year for getting the Mets to even that many wins, but that one isn’t for today. Today is for the newest rumor. According to the New York Post, sources are indicating that pitching coach Dan Warthen will not be retained for the 2018 season.

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If you are dead set on going with a new manager and they want a new pitching coach? Fine. But to simply remove Warthen at the end of the year is silly. It’s making a move just to make a move. It will change very little.

The article address the fact that as of this past Tuesday, the Mets team ERA was 5.02. That is bad, obviously. It should be worse with the patchwork staff that has been on the mound for most of the year. What is the expectation when all of the front line pitchers go down? 5.02 isn’t bad, all things considered.

Let’s look at the team ERA each year since Warthen joined the staff in 2008:

  • 2008: 4.07
  • 2009: 4.45
  • 2010: 3.70
  • 2011: 4.19
  • 2012: 4.09
  • 2013: 3.77
  • 2014: 3.49
  • 2015: 3.43
  • 2016: 3.57
  • 2017: 5.02

Does anyone else notice the fact that the 5.02 sticks out as being far higher than any other season? When Dan Warthen had a staff of healthy pitchers, oddly enough, the ERA was good. The man needs his front line players to be healthy in order to have the staff perform well. Did he get a great deal out of the second group that performed in 2017? No. But with all of the injuries it’s impressive that the ERA wasn’t higher.

Besides anything else, the pitching staff wants him back. That fact should not be minimized. The fact that they want him back shows they have confidence in him. That means they will work hard for him. Changing the philosophy coming from the pitching coach will not fix the problem.

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What would help? Hire a new strength and conditioning staff. Someone needs to be in charge of making sure these pitchers don’t just work out, they work out correctly. Ron Darling said it best during the season when he said it’s not about getting big muscles for a pitcher. Someone must teach these pitchers and players how to do it right. The Mets have no plans on making a change there. That’s the problem.