Ron Darling Wants Mets To Stop Treating Young Starters With Kid Gloves

fearsome foursome

You know me, I love to post fan created art and graphics of our New York Mets. On Friday night I came across this really cool poster that was designed by imlookinatu who posted it in a Mets Reddit thread. Nice job…

As was reported on multiple occasions, both Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins don’t expect any innings limits this season for Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and the solitary left-hander in the rotation Steven Matz.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t be cautious and somewhat protective particularly in the first half of the season to ensure our young starters stay fresh and will be strong when it matters in the second half and beyond. So expect to see some spot starters, skipped starts, and even an occasional romp with a six-man rotation.

“Those are factors you have to keep in mind the next season,” Alderson told John Harper of the Daily News on Friday. “We won’t have innings limits but we’ll be a little protective. We may do some things to keep them healthy and strong with the possibility they’ll be going late into October again.”

In my opinion. this is the proper tack and course of action by the Mets, given how integral our starting pitching is to our expectations for a second consecutive year of postseason baseball. This is not a big deal and it’s the smart play.

That said, Mets broadcaster and SNY analyst Ron Darling has big issues with what Alderson and Collins are proposing. He disputes the notion that the Mets need to be protective in the first half to minimize a potential hangover effect late in the season.

“I think the Mets have done an amazing job of making sure these kids are taken care of,” Darling told the Daily News. “And even this year it’s fine to be judicious, give a guy an extra day here and there, but if I’m going to be judicious, I’m also going to make sure these guys are on the mound every turn.”

thor matz degrom syndergaard

Darling says the Mets are babying their pitchers to a fault. He argues that now is the time for the team to be getting the most out of their arms while they are young, strong and at their peak.

“For most pitchers there’s a 4-to-6 year window of excellence… and these guys are right in the middle of this 4-to-6 window, and to me that’s when you want to get the most out of them. Can they handle the workload? Absolutely. But it’s a mindset too.”

“If you’ve been treated with kid gloves, that becomes your expectation level; at some point you have to learn how to push through that. You saw it with Matt in the ninth inning of World Series Game 5. He’d never had the chance to learn how to finish. Maybe next time he’ll know how to get those last three outs.”

Thanks for reminding us of that Ronnie… Well while you guys ponder whether what Darling said has any merit, here’s something cool the Mets tweeted out on Saturday:

Last season, the Mets pitching staff set a franchise record for most double digit strikeout games in a season with 55. The previous record was 39 in 1990.

Honestly, I never would have guessed the 1990 team held that record. It’s hard to believe that the Seaver, Koosman, Matlack years or the Gooden, Darling, Fernandez years didn’t own that mark. But not for nothing, our pitchers crushed the old record last season.

Have a great Sunday everyone and enjoy the game tonight. Carolina Panthers 24, Denver Broncos 13.

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About Joe D 7992 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.