New York Mets considering coddling their starting pitchers even more

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Jacob deGrom (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Jacob deGrom (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets are reportedly considering changing how they use their starting pitchers.

Mickey Callaway has reason to be excited as he takes over the managerial position with the New York Mets. Callaway comes from a pitching background and the Mets have oodles of talent. He must have looked at the Mets starting staff and started drooling. Imagine if he had Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler healthy! It would be tough to beat the Mets at any time.

When managers come in, they come in with a new voice. Callaway was likely to have a new way to work with the Mets pitching staff. New leaders have new ideas, it’s natural. According to a report, the way they USE the pitchers may change.

I disagree with the esteemed Mets beat reporter here. This is not a good idea and won’t make it any better.

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The first problem is how the bullpen will be used. They will be overused. I don’t care if the bullpen is made up of eight Mariano Riveras, it won’t work. If this plan goes forward, the Mets will be in the bullpen by the sixth inning in at least 3/5 of their games. That is 60%, otherwise known as a lot of games. How are the pitchers going to hold up under that kind of pressure? It’s just not possible to function using a minimum of two relievers every night. Think about it. Even if deGrom and Syndergaard are exempt from this rule, they aren’t going a third time through every start. The bullpen will be spent.

Next let’s talk about the “Skinny Jeanification” of sports, a term brought to the fore by Michael Rapaport on the I am Rapaport: Stereo PodcastThe term refers to how athletes have basically gone soft in modern times. He often uses it to talk about his favorite sport, the NBA, but I am going to apply it to this theory with the Mets.

Pitchers have already been going through Jeanification theory for years. Remember when pitchers used to throw 300 innings? There was a time when the term “pitch count” wasn’t even uttered. Even if you go back to the 1980s, you will come upon a time when complete games weren’t as rare as four-leaf clovers as they are now. You know what I mean? It’s SportsCenter headline time when a complete game is thrown.

Now the athletes are coddled. “Get him out! He threw 100 pitches! His arm might fall off!” The pitchers are conditioned to do just enough and nothing more. Thus they are softer, and we have the skinny jeanification theory. Now, add this to the mix. No matter what is happening the pitcher will be taken out after two trips around the lineup? What if they have only thrown 60 pitches? Now the pitchers, should the Mets go ahead with this plan, will be ready to go through six innings on average.

That will make them softer than ever before. I understand that they have had their injury problems, but isn’t it enough to use pitch counts? Why do we have to pre-determine the number of hitters too? Let’s coddle, or skinny jeanify, these players even more. It has to stop.

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The Mets must be careful with their stud pitchers. They must stay healthy for the team to have any chance in 2018. But that doesn’t mean they should be over coddled. The idea of pre-determining how long they will go in games based on the number of batters just doesn’t make any sense.