It’s 2013, the Mets are 72-45 (stop laughing) and Dillon Gee has recovered nicely from his surgery and has won 13 games on the hill for the Mets. He’s looking like a Game 2 playoff starter at worst.
Prior to the season starting, everybody knew that Gee would be shut down not for any statistical purpose, but because the team’s doctors have a clear rehab plan following his surgery and feel it’s in his best interest long term if he throws no more than 160 innings.
These doctors have evidence of immediate success as they did the same thing 1 year prior to another pitcher on the team – that pitchers results have been positive.
The pieces of the team have started to come together. Everything is looking like the Mets are back, but as they hit the stretch run – they will be without one of their best starting pitchers.
What do you do? You could have started Gee in the minors and limited his innings in April & May, but you also might not have the luxury of a division lead if you did that.
You can choose to sit him now and re-start him in mid-September – but how much good can it do to shut down an arm for a month, only to re-start it again when you clearly have concerns about it’s healing ability?
You can stick to the plan, but perhaps go and spend some prospects on another starting pitcher since you know you’ll need a Game 2 starter.
Or you can decide the present year outweighs anything that may happen in the future.
To me, I hate innings limits for two reasons:
1) They are often advertised which I think is one of the worst decisions anybody can make. Nobody needs to know a pitcher has a pitch count or innings limit, so why tell them?
2) In most cases it is because a team is protecting a healthy young arm because they fear potential injury. To me, that is just fear of something you cannot really avoid regardless.
I think this is a different scenario though than the “Joba Rules.” I think this is a group of doctors who have their rehab plan and if you cannot trust your doctors then you need new doctors. (Hear that Mets front office?)
If Zach Wheeler were to be called up next year, it would drive me up a wall if he had any kind of limit.
If Dillon Gee were to recover, I’d understand the innings limit – but I don’t want to know about it until you shut him down.
When you do shut him down – you better have a backup plan ready. That’s the biggest problem I’d have as a Nationals fan.
It’s not that Strasburg is being shut down for the health and rehab of his arm – it’s that there was seemingly no game plan for when this would happen. When even I as a Mets fan knew in April that it would happen.
This move went from Gio-Zimmerman-Strasburg-Jackson-Detwiler to Gio-Zimmerman-Jackson-Detwiler.
So if the Mets were in the exact same spot in 2013 (from my fingers to god’s ears), what would you want them to do?