When Johan Santana was a Met, fans got used to the seasonal-Santana-September shutdown.
While fans have to hope it isn’t seasonal, it’s time to stop thinking about how many games back the Mets are in the standings, and to start thinking about shutting down arms like Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
Both pitchers have reportedly been dealing with bone spurs for months now, and while they have pitched moderately effective baseball, it is pretty clear that this just isn’t the year for the Mets to win the World Series.
Since June 24
Syndergaard – 43.1 IP, 4.26 ERA, .298 AVG, .798 OPS
Matz – 52.2 IP, 4.78 ERA, .296 AVG, .831 OPS
It seemed like the natural progression; lose the World Series and then bounce back to win one just as the Royals did in front of the Mets’ eyes last October. However, generally it doesn’t work that way.
The tea leaves all season have pointed to this simply not being the Mets’ year.
Between David Wright‘s injury, Lucas Duda‘s ailing back that just never gets better, Juan Lagares‘s thumb, Matt Harvey‘s medical issues, and the bone spurs that have held Thor and Matz back from dominance, it has simply been too much. It has even gotten to the point where even the reinforcements like Jose Reyes and Justin Ruggiano have also joined the walking wounded.
With Yoenis Cespedes missing time, Asdrubal Cabrera also on the shelf, and having a lineup full of players that are more similar to the 2015 Mets’ of April – June than the ones that nearly shocked the baseball world in October, this has been too much for one team to bear.
So while the old “wait ’til next year!”, adage is tiresome and downright annoying, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Sometimes, you have to lose a battle to win the war.
So if I’m Sandy Alderson, I’m thinking less about who I can add to this roster, and more about what’s best for 2017. And what’s best for 2017 is giving Syndergaard and Matz a chance to get those bone spurs taken care of, have a full offseason to rest and recover, and show up to Spring Training with guns blazing. If that means shutting down these young arms early, then you should at least consider it.