Mets plan to use 6-man rotation into August
NEW YORK -- Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said Wednesday that the club plans to stick with a six-man rotation through mid-August after it is implemented next week.
Warthen said Dillon Gee will enter the rotation either Tuesday or Wednesday in San Diego, with the goal to shred about three starts from each starter's workload as the summer progresses.
Specifically, Warthen said the organization is looking for Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese to make 30 starts instead of the more traditional 33. Gee and Noah Syndergaard could have trouble reaching that number because of time lost due to injury and Minor League play, respectively. But the point remains: more pitchers means more rest.
"It is better for the player," said Warthen. "It's better for the organization, at least, until we get to where we feel like we have plenty of innings left in September and still have the possibility of innings left in October."
Both Warthen and Mets manager Terry Collins have noted that they expect to face new challenges with regards to keeping pitchers sharp amid new routines and schedules. To do this, Mets starters may occasionally have hitters stand in during bullpen sessions and even throw mid-week batting practice. These are common occurrences during Spring Training.
"Our No. 1 concern is our pitchers, and our pitchers staying healthy," Warthen said. "We have some other [young] ones -- [prospect Steven] Matz is coming along. We're going to have Syndergaard here, deGrom here, Harvey here. Those are the guys who are the big concerns. As for the other guys, they have to go along with it. It's going to only prolong their careers. From the organization's standpoint, from my standpoint, I think it's a smart thing to do."
Warthen said reliever Vic Black is ready to come off the disabled list after throwing in back-to-back games at Double-A Binghamton. Black landed on the DL in Spring Training due to shoulder pain. He subsequently was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck, caused by a nerve issue. Black hasn't appeared in the Majors yet this season. He pitched to a 2.60 ERA in 34 2/3 relief innings in 2014.