New York Mets: Mickey Callaway needs to be careful with bullpen use

New York Mets. Mickey Callaway (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
New York Mets. Mickey Callaway (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets have started out just fine but Mickey Callaway had better be careful to not wear out the bullpen.

As of the writing of this post, the New York Mets have started the season 3-1 pending the result of the afternoon tilt with the Phillies. It’s hard to be upset with how they have looked. Other than Steven Matz, the Mets have gotten excellent pitching and timely hitting. It has been an A+ beginning for Mickey Callaway and his managerial career. What is there to be concerned about?

During the off-season, Callaway talked about the idea of only allowing deGrom and Syndergaard to go deep into games. The other starters will be allowed to go through the lineup twice before being removed from the game. It could help the starters in the long run but Callaway has to be careful. The bullpen could burn out if he doesn’t watch it.

In the first run through the starting rotation, the longest outing has been 5.2 innings. Every single pitcher in the bullpen has pitched, and some have already pitched multiple times. At the rate he is on, for example, Jeurys Familia would pitch in over 100 games. Now I am not saying that Callaway is going to keep up a pace like THAT, but he is using the bullpen at breakneck speed already. that can obviously become a problem.

Protecting the starting pitcher makes some sense. Aside from Jacob deGrom, they all have suffered significant injuries. Keeping an eye on every one of them is a good idea. But there is a difference between protecting them and coddling them. Tuesday night, for example, Matt Harvey pitched a very strong fifth inning, retiring the side in order. He was taken out and A.J. Ramos started walking the ballpark. They could have lost the game because Harvey was being protected.

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It could in part be because of the opening of the season. Pitchers typically aren’t stretched as far early as they are in the heat of the pennant race. Before we go too hard after Callaway’s strategy we need to keep that in mind. But if these guys are pitching well, they need to allow them to pitch. We don’t want the relievers’ arms falling off by June.