No innings limits will be imposed on the Mets starting pitchers in 2016
Innings limits and innings controversies are officially a thing of the past for the New York Mets.
Terry Collins said he expects all of his pitchers to pitch without any hinderance or specialized programs in 2015, as all of them should be able to work beyond the 200-inning mark if needed.
“Next year, with what these guys have gone through this year, that won’t be the case,” Collins said on Wednesday at Citi Field.
Typically, the organization prefers it’s young pitchers increase their workloads by around 30 innings per year. Doing so would effectively limit Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom to 246 innings in 2016, Noah Syndergaard to 228 innings, and Steven Matz at 185 innings.
But Collins said Matz should be able to approach the 200-inning threshold.
“He should be able to get to 190-plus if he stays healthy,” Collins said about Matz.
Collins hinted that they could conceivably skip a starting pitcher at points during the regular season to afford them time to rest, especially after their workloads in 2015, the short offseason, and their postseason aspirations in 2016.
Having said that, Collins confirmed what had previously been discussed by the team that his starting pitchers will have their spring training regimens delayed by about a week, meaning they may not begin to appear in Grapefruit League games until the second week in March.
It’s worth considering Zack Wheeler is on-track to return at around the All-Star break. Given that timeframe, he should not be under an innings limit coming back from his injury. But he’s going to have to build his stamina, especially if the Mets intend to be in the postseason again a year from now.
Having said that, they could choose to use Wheeler at times to skip starts for their other starting pitchers – as Collins said on Wednesday – and insert Jon Niese back into the rotation, who will presumably be dispatched to the bullpen once Wheeler returns. That way, they can avoid using a six-man rotation, keep everyone in a routine, maintain stamina and agility, and keep everyone happy in the process.
Of course, Wheeler will require monitoring himself, given the delicate situation regarding his elbow and the somewhat more complicated scenario involving both his Tommy John Surgery and the surgically repaired tendon in his elbow as well.