ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick takes a deep look at the Mets’ medical procedures and protocols in the wake of their injury woes. Crasnick notes on Twitter that he spent two weeks and conducted nearly 20 interviews for the piece, and the thoroughness is apparent in a must-read column that is rife with industry opinions and quotes on the Mets’ hierarchy. As Crasnick writes, he was told on multiple occasions that the Mets have a sub-optimal command structure that causes routine problems to become serious issues. Crasnick was also told that the Mets’ lack of a true point person for the medical operations creates too much of an opportunity for COO Jeff Wilpon to insert himself into the picture. “Jeff gets in the middle of everything that’s going on, and he ends up doing more damage,” someone who has been involved of the Mets’ internal operations told Crasnick. “He meddles. I can’t come up with a more appropriate term.” Strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Barwis’ methods were also questioned by multiple people to whom Crasnick spoke.
GM Sandy Alderson stressed to Crasnick that, ultimately, coordination of medical and rehab protocols is his responsibility. The general manager also acknowledged that there’s been plenty of second-guessing when it comes to the notorious refused MRI from Noah Syndergaard. “Would that have shown the lat was subject to a potential tear? We’ll never know,” says Alderson. “…We try to go back and see if there needs to be some systemic change in what we’re doing. That certainly has happened over the last few weeks.” Notably, Alderson adds that the team has considered hiring a director of performance sciences (or a similar title) — something that organizations such as the Astros and Pirates have recently added.
Crasnick’s lengthy column is fascinating, well-crafted and revealing. I strongly recommend a full read, especially for Mets fans. And when you’re done with that, a few more notes out of Queens…
- Newsday’s Marc Carig spoke with Curtis Granderson about his struggles at the plate this year, and the 36-year-old at least conceded that his age could be a factor in his troubles at the plate. However, Granderson wouldn’t use his age as an excuse and spoke with confidence about being able to turn things around at the plate. Carig spoke with hitting coach Kevin Long and a scout from another club about Granderson’s approach at the plate, with both stating that he’s taken good at-bats that haven’t yet produced results. As Carig points out, though, the window for Granderson to right the ship is closing, as Yoenis Cespedes is nearing a return. At that point, Granderson could face a significant reduction in playing time.
- The Mets’ decision not to promote top prospect Amed Rosario when Asdrubal Cabrera hit the disabled list frustrated some fans, but as Mike Puma of the New York Post points out, that decision likely wasn’t driven by a desire to avoid Super Two status for Rosario. The promotions of Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, Puma notes, both came in May during their respective rookie seasons. The Mets knew full well that both would likely be Super Two players and promoted them anyhow due to need. Puma spoke to evaluators from other clubs, with one telling him that Rosario could be ready to play for the Mets but another suggesting that his approach at the plate still needs a lot of work. “He’s an above-average shortstop who can really hit, but he’s not really disciplined at the plate,” said the evaluator. “He definitely needs to improve his [pitch] recognition. In an ideal world you would want to have a guy like this come to a contending club and be a piece rather than coming up and being the center of attention right away.”