Robert Gsellman was one of the most important pieces for the Mets in 2016, as a large majority of the pitching staff suffered from injuries at one point or another.
After getting no press in the Minor Leagues, the right-hander came up to the Show and was lights out, going 4-2 with a 2.42 ERA and striking out 42 batters in 44.2 innings. He benefitted from a spike in fastball velocity, averaging 93.6 mph and hitting as high as 96 through the last few months of 2016, as well as an improved slider.
However, last season the 24-year old struggled in a multitude of ways. For starters, he was not nearly as effective as he had a 5.19 ERA, 1.504 WHIP, 4.89 FIP, and 82 strikeouts in 25 games (22 starts).
On top of that, when Sandy Alderson said he needed to see a better performance from Gsellman, the starter said, “I don’t care.”
Gsellman is coming into this season with an improved outlook as Peter Botte of the New York Daily News recounts.
When asked about last season and the issue that appeared to unfold between himself and Alderson, Gsellman responded on the matter this way:
“Just watch what you say. Last year was a learning experience, but I’m older now and more mature. So just stay to myself and stay quiet and go about your business and I’ll be fine.”
It appears he realizes that the decision to show apathy was a terrible look for him as a player, especially when pitching in New York, where news gets around quick.
When asked about what his hopes are in terms of his role on the team he had this to say:
“Just to be with the team and win. As long as I pitch, as long as I’m with the team, I’ll be fine. It doesn’t really matter what happens…I feel great, the best I’ve felt in a while and I’m ready to get after it.”
This is good to hear that he is willing to adapt to whatever role he needs to in order to be successful. This is music to the Mets news manager’s ears, Mickey Callaway.
Gsellman also said this in regards to his new manager, as detailed by Laura Albanese of Newsday:
“Mickey was getting just so into detail about pitching mechanics,‘Wow.’ You’re a manager and you could be our pitching coach, too. He’s so knowledgeable of the game. I can’t wait to learn more from him.”
It seems Gsellman is coming in with a much different mindset this season. This whole situation is going to be about the team working together, and the right-hander is buying into Mickey Callaway’s attempt to revamp the clubhouse and re-create the winning culture that the team established in 2015 and 2016.