March 21st, 2015
Here is a great article by Brian P. Mangan. Read more of his collums over at the “Read Zone” and “Mets Blog”.
By: Brian Mangan
(edited 3/20, 3:30pm. Please note that this is not an attempt to explain all instances of Tommy John. Just an insight into the incredible pressure put on Zack Wheeler’s arm)
Everyone has been all abuzz the last couple days since it was announced that Zack Wheeler has a torn UCL and needs Tommy John surgery. Many have criticized the organization for allowing Wheeler to throw too many pitches, in line with the conventional thinking about pitch counts. However, as I have tried to explain, simply counting pitches without counting the number of pitches per inning is meaningless. There is a huge difference between 110 pitches over 5.1 or 110 pitches in a nice relaxing complete game.
I did a little research to see how Wheeler has been used compared to other pitchers and made a somewhat shocking discovery: since 2000, no pitcher has been pushed to throw as many pitches…
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Fans who say that the #1 Draft Pick is not always going to become Matt Harvey, Bradley Holt is your best friend. In 2008, the Mets were given the chance to draft three players in the first round. They choose Reese Havens (SS, now retired), Ike Davis and NCAA pitching phenom Bradley Holt. Holt received the most praise of all three, however only Ike made it into the bigs. What happened to Holt? Holt started his first full season with the Mets with the St.Lucie Mets in 2009, pitching to a 3.57 ERA, which is respectable for a pitchers first professional year. In 2010, he ran of the rails. In Binghamton (AA) Holt had a 10.20 ERA, and gave up 34 Earned Runs in 30 innings. When Holt was demoted back to St.Lucie, Holt had a 7.48 ERA, after that, Holt never came close to pitching in the majors. One bad year and he was finished. No one remembers Brad Holt, and it’s too bad, because he had (and maybe still does) great mechanics, and a very simple delivery. Holt lacked mound presence, and always seemed to get into trouble. Does this happen a lot? Sort of. Eddie Kunz, Nathan Vineyard, Reese Havens and Michael Fulmer are all first round draft picks signed from 2007-2011 by the Mets that have never made a big-league club, let alone the Mets. I wonder if this will continue with Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Dominic Smith, I sure hope not…..