A frankly stunning tweet from Newsday’s Marc Carig says the Mets plan to limit their starting pitchers (with the exceptions of Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom) to just two times through the opposing lineup next season. So if you’re doing the math, it means starters will not go past six innings, and even that length is assuming they are hurling a perfect game. Great idea — leave most games in the hands of mediocre pitchers.
With the bullpen heavily leaned upon, the Mets will likely carry eight relievers. Forgetting for a moment what this will do to the short bench, it means middle relievers will be pitching very important innings almost every game. Of course, these are generally pitchers who are not good enough to start or close. All baseball fans have seen enough of these middle relievers on every team to know they are unreliable and cannot be counted on on a daily basis.
This is a recipe for disaster for the Mets, in particular. Their measly salary structure will not let them spend big on eight bullpen arms. Three or maybe four will be quality veterans, with the rest young players or tired retreads. So you really want every game in those hands?
The Mets and every team in baseball should be in the process of doing the opposite of limiting pitchers — they should be teaching them how to go deep into games. How to change their looks as the games progress. How to save some bullets for the end instead of throwing 100 mph in the first inning.
But that will not happen, Not anymore. If the Mets go through with this plan without really beefing up the bullpen, we are in for a very long season. Even if they do spend big on relievers, it still will not work; these guys will be abused and will falter as the season wears on. This is a very, very bad development for the 2018 Mets.