Did Mets Mishandle Wilmer Flores Injury?

Once again the New York Mets’ handling of an injury leaves us scratching our heads. This time, it is Wilmer Flores, who one week into the major leagues, isn’t wise or brave enough to say, “hey, something is wrong here.’’

FLORES: Limping to DL? (Getty)

FLORES: Limping to DL? (Getty)

Flores sprained his right ankle running the bases Monday, did not play Tuesday and could soon go on the disabled list. All this in the wake of rookie infielder telling reporters: “It’s just sore. That’s it. I was able to play. … I think I’ll be all right.’’

But, his career is a week old, so I can’t blame him. But, what should be done is question the decision not to take him out of the game and not have him undergo X-Rays or a MRI.

In contrast, Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle sprained his ankle the same day, had a MRI and is in a walking boot. The Mets haven’t even said when Flores will get a X-Ray, but we should presume today.

Terry Collins, whom I have written should be brought back, said Flores stayed in the game after getting his ankle taped after the half-inning. He didn’t say if they spit or rubbed dirt on the ankle.

Collins explained: “It’s pretty stiff. In this world we live in, there’s always the possibility of the DL. We certainly won’t know anything for a day or so. I think the fact that he was taped up might have kept it a little bit intact. But after the game he was very, very uncomfortable. And [Tuesday] he was even worse.’’

Part of the Mets’ “new culture’’ after the hiring of GM Sandy Alderson was a better, cleaner, handling of injuries.

Before, Ryan Church, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Jenrry Mejia, Pedro Martinez and Mike Pelfrey were mishandled. Later in the Alderson Era, it has been David Wright – several times, including let him play with a fracture in his back and the recent hamstring strain that has him on the disabled list – Reyes, Johan Santana and Ike Davis.

Beltran, in fact, was so botched that he had surgery on his own which turned out to be a mitigating factor in his departure from the team.

All this, and Collins was taking preliminary bows the other night about limiting the innings of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to protect them from injury. All that, but there’s no mention of limiting Mejia, who is pitching well after coming off Tommy John surgery.

The bottom line is Collins has been around long enough to know not to listen to a player when he says “I’m fine,’’ because players are notorious liars.

If that bottom line isn’t bold enough, then try this one: Get a MRI!

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to answer them. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

9 thoughts on “Did Mets Mishandle Wilmer Flores Injury?

  1. Again with this stuff? I agree that Wright’s injury was somewhat mishandled given it was an issue for days and was clearly something that could be easily aggravated. But you can’t take a guy out of the lineup every single time he twists or tweaks something or feels a little sore. If that’s the case you’d have nobody left to play. No guarantee playing the rest of the game made Flores injury significantly worse either.

    And most of those other guys on the list weren’t necessarily “mishandled”/allowed to play when they shouldn’t have other than Wright and Church..and Church was years ago.
    Davis was DLed pretty much the second he got hurt…the recovery just took longer than expected. Beltran and Reyes were DLed pretty quickly for most of their injuries, as were the pitchers for the most part.

    • Not really.

      Beltran as John says did his own thing which turned out to be a good thing because he is still playing. Mejia ended up having Tommy John surgery. Could that have been avoided when he first had issues rather than letting him play in the minors and bumping him from starter to reliever and back and back? Who knows? But considering the way the team has handled its players you have to wonder. Santana blew out his arm again after coming back from surgery. In part as a response to the team calling him out.

      As for Flores himself, I do not recall if he is one of the players who is historically injured or not. We had a bunch of players in the middle infield who was always hurt but with tons of upside. He may be one of them.

      • Attributing the Santana injury to the Mets “calling him out” or whatever you want to call it is completely speculative. Much more likely he was having issues beforehand and that’s why he was having so much trouble staying on schedule. And it was certainly the Mets right to wonder what was going on with him and questioning things when he was way behind schedule.

        Beltran seeking out an opinion from a different doctor and opting for a surgical option instead of a non-surgical option isn’t the same situation as a player not coming out of the game when he was hurt. I agree the Mets PR-wise did not handle the Beltran stuff well (and that appeared to be the Wilpons doing), but that is an entirely different situation than those mentioned in the article. And Mejia isn’t the first guy to alternate between starter and reliever.

        • applesauce: I wasn’t the only one who speculated this. Both Alderson and Collins were furious he threw on his own. I’d say my speculation and that of many others in the media were spot on with our conclusion. … By the way, why would you think he had so much trouble staying on schedule? Probably because he wasn’t healthy. …. Beltran can choose another option, that’s his right. Why do you think he chose a non-Mets’ option? …. Most of the blame on Beltran goes to MInaya. How much influence the Wilpons had is debatable. … No, Mejia isn’t the first to alternate, but they forced him into a situation where he wasn’t comfortable and then back again. The juggling most definitely had an impact as it was the same year.-JD

      • dave: Flores did have a leg injury earlier this year. If he had one and then another shortly after, I would venture on the side of a connection. … My point is here’s a guy who was injured to the point where he needed taping, and now could be on the DL. Based on history, I’m comfortable with my conclusion.-JD

      • Uh no. Flores has logged well over 2000 abs in the minors. Shit happens and believe me I not one to make excuses for this organization. Wright, on the other hand I believe was mishandled. This I nury thing with the Mets has become a.canard that some people just can’t let go of.

    • applesauce: It wouldn’t be “again with this stuff,” if the Mets didn’t do it “again with this stuff.” … Not only was the hamstring mishandled, but the fracture in his back. He played a month with it. … You’re right, no guarantee playing the rest of the game aggravated Flores’ ankle. No guarantee it didn’t either. …. Yes, Davis’ recovery took a lot of time, but there’s a strong case it was misdiagnosed. … You’re joking about Beltran and Reyes aren’t you? With no chance at the playoffs they let Beltran play, with the result being surgery. As for Reyes, Jerry Manuel blew that one by letting him play with oblique. … Feel free to drink the Kool-Aid on the medical staff, but you’re in the minority.-JD

      • It has nothing to do with kool-aid and more to do with you comparing apples to oranges and looking to create controversy.

        I agreed about Wright…he should have been checked out sooner in both those cases….especially with the back thing a few years ago. With some of the others you are lumping a bunch of different cases into one that have nothing to really do with each other. You want to talk about players being allowed to continue to play and not getting thoroughly examined before being allowed to play…and then you bring up all these other irrelevant cases. Ike Davis’ injury may have initially been misdiagnosed, but sometimes things can be hard to see on MRIs and that really has zero to do with the Mets manager or front office’s handling of the injury. They didn’t ignore medical advice or avoid sending him for tests..he was DLed immediately.
        And Beltran was out for months with his knee injury. He came back mid-Sept and ended up deciding to get surgery in January. Highly doubtful it was just those couple weeks in Sept hurt him significantly more severely. He had a chronic condition…it’s not like it was a situation of a acute tear being made worse. If it had any impact it just might’ve been him wanting to see how he felt and trying to test the knee out. I agree the Mets PR-wise totally blew that whole surgery situation, but that’s not related to the issue of managers allowing players to play hurt/GMs not getting MRIs, etc.

        And Flores twisting his ankle shouldn’t lead to and “OMG got to take him out this second” freakout. Players play through soreness all the time. Sometimes it turns into something, sometimes it doesn’t…but you can’t take a guy out every single time he’s a little sore.

        And BTW, if you want to talk about actual examples of the Mets screwing up injuries and allowing injured players to play, you should go with JJ Putz…that’s one where they ignored doctor’s advice and let him play. That’s much more relevant to the argument you are trying to make here than guys like Beltran, Santana, and Davis are.

  2. Also just to add a couple more things. While I do think they screwed up the Wright situation this year and back in 2011 with the back injury…there was similar handwringing around the blogs that the Mets were mishandling Wright’s (and Murph’s) injuries this spring….a lot of people playing doctors on the internet talked about how it wouldn’t be smart for them to play in ST or at the start of the year…that they should start the season on the DL. Yet, both guys played opening day, didn’t re-injure themselves and got off to fine starts. Similarly, last year there was a lot of complaining about the Mets letting Wright play with a broken finger and all he did after that was go out an hit .400 over the next month.

    And those are just a couple examples we know about. There are plenty of others where players have little nagging injuries that they play with and there aren’t any repercussions. Sometimes they make the wrong decision and play through stuff they shouldn’t….but every tweak doesn’t need immediate removal from the game and 2 weeks rest.