MIAMI -- A day after limping off the field with a left hamstring strain, Robert Gsellman on Wednesday became the 17th Mets player to hit the disabled list this season. The team recalled infielder Matt Reynolds to take Gsellman's place on the roster, with Rafael Montero slated to take his
MIAMI -- A day after limping off the field with a left hamstring strain, Robert Gsellman on Wednesday became the 17th Mets player to hit the disabled list this season. The team recalled infielder Matt Reynolds to take Gsellman's place on the roster, with Rafael Montero slated to take his rotation spot this weekend.
It was all so routine, which raised renewed questions of the Mets' medical, training, strength and conditioning practices. Former Mets player Ron Darling in particular was outspoken on SNY's broadcast Tuesday, calling it "a joke to watch this happen each and every night" throughout the Majors.
"It's easy to start painting with a broad brush the reasons," assistant general manager John Ricco said Wednesday. "What I think is the smarter thing to do is to break down each one of them individually. … We're constantly evaluating our people, our policies, our processes. All I can say right now is we have a lot of confidence in our group, what we do.
"This isn't a problem that's unique to the Mets. If you look around the game right now, there are a lot of -- almost an epidemic of injuries. It's something a lot of teams are dealing with."
According to the website Spotrac, which tracks DL days for all 30 teams, the Mets are tied for sixth in the Majors in sending 16 different players to the DL. Their total number of DL days, 589, ranks 12th, but their total salary lost to the DL clocks in third at $21.8 million.
The Mets, in other words, are losing their stars at a more frequent rate than the rest of the league.
"The discussion always gets back to not having players," manager Terry Collins said. "It's part of the game. I don't sit there and stew about it."
"You look at the numbers, you look at really the quality of guys we've lost, it's going to be a topic," Ricco said. "It's something our fans are certainly as concerned as we are. We want to see our best players on the field. When you see a number of them hurt, it's a valid question. It's something we ask ourselves every day. We're constantly trying to get better."
In particular, Ricco said, the Mets have implemented new guidelines to help their players better rest, hydrate and understand soft tissue issues, such as the hamstring strain that Gsellman suffered.
Ricco also downplayed the notion that the Mets do too much heavy weightlifting, insisting that trainers focus on flexibility and stretching. Anecdotal evidence points to the contrary, whether it's Noah Syndergaard's claim that he added 17 pounds of muscle over the winter, or the Mets' official Facebook page posting video of Yoenis Cespedes "bear squatting" 900 pounds in February.
Cespedes worked heavily this winter with Mike Barwis, whom the Mets hired in 2014 to oversee their strength and conditioning program. But Ricco included Barwis specifically under the umbrella of employees in whom the Mets have confidence, noting the successes that Wilmer Flores and Dominic Smith have had in his program.
In the end, Ricco said, he understands "the frustration" of fans fretting over the Mets' sidelined stars: Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Neil Walker and others. His message was that in spite of such issues, sweeping changes to the team's medical, training, strength and conditioning staffs are not on the horizon.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.