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May 27

Mets and the 6th Man

If it means I get to see Noah Syndergaard pitch more, rather than return to Las Vegas, the Mets could add Steven Matz, Rafael Montero, Rainy Lara, and Seth Lugo to the rotation all the while employing the first 10-man rotation in Major League history (to my knowledge anyway) while using Vic Black as the backup catcher upon his return, and I’d be okay with it. Any scenario that involves three straight days with Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey should be embraced, and anyone that pines for deGrom, Harvey, and three grab bags of who the heck knows what will happen is probably still angry that guys like Charlie Hough don’t start 40-games a year anymore.1

Nope. Now they start 30.

I don’t know if this will work. With the team needing to carry at least one backup catcher—because those guys are sort of important—there’s an obvious risk of having only three additional bats to use off of the bench. The Mets could add a bat and use only six relievers, but to do that the team would need to sacrifice one of their three situational lefties (John Leathersich being the obvious choice), which is going to happen anyway once Black and/or Bobby Parnell return. I know it will happen, but please Sandy Alderson leave Hansel Robles alone. It’s refreshing to see a Mets reliever capable of hitting 98 come jogging out of the bullpen. Those guys, no matter how bad things get, always leave you with at least a vague hope that ugly messes in the seventh and eighth will be okay.

Will the starters be affected by this? Probably. According to Adam Rubin, Mets manager Terry Collins has figures to support a six-man rotation, and perhaps that’s the case. I think I’d rather have the extra bat on the bench, but seeing how the last bat off the bench, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, didn’t exactly hit and was traded off to the Angels maybe the sixth starter makes sense. Both deGrom and Syndergaard each had games with three hits (Syndergaard’s came today with a monstrous homerun), which equaled Nieuwenhuis’ total for the year, so as long as they’re not asked to bunt, Collins could send his pitchers up to hit and they couldn’t be any worse.

No. I don’t dislike the decision for the reasons given. Limiting their young starters’ innings is an admirable goal, and if the team can scratch out enough runs to stay in the wild card chase then those innings will come in handy come August. I don’t really understand why they need 13 pitchers, though. Why not keep seven in the bullpen, one of which is your sixth-man/long reliever (Dillon Gee) and keep an extra bat on the bench?

Whatever the reason, I just hope the Mets start a trend here and teams such as the Nationals follow suit. More Tanner Roark please.

  1. All of this is assuming that Syndergaard would have been sent down otherwise. I find this to be logical given the team’s reluctance to tax their young pitchers and their insistence that Jon Niese throw batting practice every fifth day.

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