Everybody is saying all the right things about Zack Wheeler’s season-ending elbow injury. But as is his habit, Sandy Alderson is saying more than one thing without really saying anything at all.
Alderson said after Wheeler complained of elbow pain last season and the Mets continued to use him that the complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament was going to happen anyway, regardless of what the Mets did.
“And so the question is: okay, was the tear inevitable? Or is this a function of how he was used? From my standpoint, it’s inevitable given the practicality of how somebody is used in the course of a major league season.”
So is there is a chance if the Mets changed the way they used Zack Wheeler, the tear could have been avoided? Alderson sort of says no, but he also sort of says yes, because he says the injury was bound to happen “given the practicality of how somebody is used.” So again, change the usage and possibly get a different result?
Then in the same breath, Alderson said, “It’s not like we assumed he was going to go down.” Wait, you just said it was inevitable. Now you did not assume he was going to go down? That is classic liar Alderson.
Speaking of usage, it will be interesting to see what happens with Masahiro Tanaka this year. He suffered a partial tear of his UCL last season. But instead of continuing to use him and wait for the “inevitable,” the Yankees shut him down. Will he need the surgery at some point this season?
Of course, every player is different. But considering with the Mets have had the third most Tommy John surgeries since 2005, perhaps it is time to examine the way the Mets use their pitchers.