For the first time in a while, it appears the Mets will be adjusting to times and have decided that they will assimilate to the rest of the baseball world. The biggest way they might be doing this is in the injury management department, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
This change will involve the hiring of a high-performance director. This position has most notably been tried out in other sports such as soccer.
However, it has recently become a new trend in baseball that started with the Seattle Mariners and was also added by the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays.
The job of this director will be to head the restructured medical department and receive reports from the rest of the staff so that they can get a clearer picture of players’ health.
Assistant GM, John Ricco commented on the matter. He told the Post, “You have a lot more data coming in, so the idea of having somebody who sits on top of all that and pulls it all together is kind of the direction a lot of sports teams are headed and we are headed as well.”
The Mets had 28 different disabled list stints in 2017, tied for the third most in the majors and saw a number of key players miss big chucks of the season.
The hope of adding this position would obviously be to get better health throughout the roster for a team that was ravaged with injuries last season. However, it is more in-depth than that. The goal would be to set up better individual routines for specific players needs and to potentially decide on the types of foods available in the clubhouse.
Ricco talked about how he believes that this is a major step in the right direction. “We feel we have the components, mental skills coach at the major league level, we have the physical therapist now that travels with the team. Now the next step is somebody to oversee all that. The increase in the data and some of the new technologies that can provide you with information about the player’s current health status has also been a recent change, so you really didn’t have all this information four or five years ago.”
The Mets are currently in the process of interviewing candidates for this new position that will hopefully be a game-changer in their ability to prevent injuries and keep their players on the field after struggling to do so for the majority of the past decade.
Of course, this is in addition to search for a new trainer because they dismissed long-time head trainer Ray Ramirez earlier this offseason.