Following a 92-loss season, the Mets will reimagine the way they use their pitching staff, says Marc Carig of newsday.com. The so-called “philosophical shift” may in part be driven by the Mets’ recent hire of former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as their new manager. According to one of Carig’s sources, Mets starters not named Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom may be shielded from facing lineups more than twice through the order, following a continuing trend throughout the league. In order to compensate for potentially fewer innnings from their starters, the Amazins plan to employ an eight man bullpen. The dramatic change in plans comes after the team posted a 5.01 combined ERA (the second-worst mark in the National League in 2017) despite watching deGrom finish as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Carig lays out the opponent OPS for each Mets pitcher per times through the batting order as well.
More from baseball’s East division…
- In a lengthy piece for the Providence Journal, Tim Britton urges against many reactionary moves suggested by Red Sox fans. The body of the article includes 24 fan suggestions for Dave Dombrowski that Britton sought out on Twitter. Among them are cases for why Boston shouldn’t trade for Giancarlo Stanton, why signing Eric Hosmer doesn’t make sense, and why they should neither shop David Price nor move him to the bullpen permanently. While many such suggestions from fans have obvious flaws in logic, Britton’s piece is well worth a read for his detailed perspective on each subject.
- Too many strikeouts and too few walks plagued the Orioles once again in 2017, writes Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. The team’s 23.0% strikeout rate ranked 5th-highest in the majors, while their 6.4% combined walk rate was the worst in the majors. That horrid walk rate was over two full percentage points below the major-league average. Among the strikeout culprits was first baseman Chris Davis, who led all qualifiers in baseball with a whopping 37.2% strikeout rate. Melewski noted that a quick turnaround in this category isn’t unheard of; the Astros went from having the AL’s worst strikeout rate in 2015 to the league’s best this past season en route to a World Series victory. The Orioles will hope they can follow that example to some extent and put more balls in play next season.