Terry Collins spoke to reporters today at Citi Field and shed some light on some of the questions burning through all our minds.
1. Despite the 120-innings number floating around, Collins said there is no hard innings limit on Zack Wheeler this season. Terry said it would be more of a feel thing and they will monitor him closely throughout the season. After he showed that he could get Major League hitters out in spring training, they didn’t want to waste his innings in the minor leagues so he will be the fourth man in the rotation.
2. Noah Syndergaard is planning on throwing more two-seam fastballs this season. Collins said when he came up he threw all four-seamers trying to blow batters away, but now he’s learned out to pitch and get guys out earlier in the count. This, combined with throwing more changeups, will lower his pitch count and allow him to get deeper into games. As Sandy Koufax said, “I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.”
3. Seth Lugo threw a lot of innings in the World Baseball Classic and may be dealing with arm fatigue, Collins said. He is going to throw today, and if the Mets don’t like what they see, Rafael Montero will begin the season on the MLB roster with Lugo pitching in Triple-A Las Vegas. We should know Saturday which pitcher the Mets will carry on their Opening Day roster.
4. Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares is starting the season on the disabled list. Because of this, Michael Conforto is on the Opening Day roster. He will be getting as many pinch-hit at-bats as possible to continue his development while not starting every day, and maybe the occasional start.