The New York Mets have frequently been criticized for their handing of injuries, and already this spring there have been several, many of them of the tight muscle variety.
The first case was left-hander Jonathon Niese, who complained of a tired arm, caused by weak muscles in the back of his shoulder.
I raised several questions, primarily that he might not have been given the exercises needed for rehab. Niese is now throwing again and has been given a series of exercises.
The Mets’ other injuries this spring are new, and could fall under the umbrella of not warming up properly.
First basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have missed time with tightness in their leg muscles; shortstop Ruben Tejada has a tight left hamstring; and outfielder Eric Young has muscle tightness in his side.
Manager Terry Collins told reporters in Port St. Lucie he attributes these injuries to the fields being hard from being baked by the sun and the players could be overly exerting themselves.
While they could be contributing factors, there might be others, such as whether they spend enough time doing stretching exercises getting loose and are they properly hydrated?
Also, players these days spend an extraordinary amount of time lifting weights and perhaps not enough stretching or doing flexibility exercises. Those stretching exercises are not very popular and even David Wright jokingly remarked on Wednesday at how his teammates hate those drills.
I also am curious to know what type of off-season workout programs the players are on prior to reporting to spring training camp. Are they regimented and monitored by the team?
Who knows, Collins could be right and this could be a freak thing. However, there have already been four players – excluding Niese – who have missed time because of tight muscles.
This all must be analyzed, especially considering the Mets’ history in their handling of injuries.
(Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)