Alderson Defense Of Handling Of Wheeler Injury Weak

Mets GM Sandy Alderson answered many of the questions pertaining to Zack Wheeler’s injury Monday. However, that doesn’t mean he answered them all, and that’s not to say the Mets’ handling of the injury couldn’t have been better.

Alderson defended his handling of Wheeler’s injury, and as he frequently does with these things, his tenor came off as condescending and maddening. As usual, he came across as the lawyer treating us like idiots.

ALDERSON: Defense of Wheeler injury weak. (AP)

ALDERSON: Defense of Wheeler injury weak. (AP)

Most irksome was how he described Wheeler’s breakdown as “inevitable,’’ much as it was for Matt Harvey and saying the Mets’ treatment of each was the same.

“Let me just ask, why would we treat somebody like Harvey with the kind of caution that we did and then throw somebody else under the bus – somebody of essentially equal value to us as an organization?’’ Alderson said to reporters today. “That wouldn’t make any sense. I understand people can debate the number of pitches and the number of innings and this and that. We simply wouldn’t treat two guys that differently.’’

But, they did.

Harvey was shut down shortly after the All-Star break in 2013, but Wheeler continued to pitch at the end of last season despite soreness in his elbow. Alderson and manager Terry Collins even conceded Monday how Wheeler managed through the pain at the end of last year.

Alderson maintained Wheeler’s elbow was eventually going to break down, yet he was trotted out there every fifth day.

“The other thing is, when a guy is being managed, you understand what the sort of apocalyptic result could be – he blows something out,’’ Alderson said. “But the question is, what’s the alternative? If it blows out, it blows out. The alternative is that you manage somebody to the point where he’s not useful to you.’’

Which is what happened, as it has numerous times with other Mets.

When it comes to the Mets and pitching injuries, the club has a long list, including: Harvey, Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, Jenrry Mejia, Jeremy Hefner and Jon Niese.

That’s more than an entire rotation and nearly a complete staff. A common thread in these injuries have been Alderson and pitching coach Dan Warthen.

The Mets didn’t have Harvey last year, but nonetheless made a run at respectability, as in finishing .500 or better. You can’t help but wonder if the goal to be competitive forced them to push Wheeler too hard.

Questions linger about the others, although not all had Tommy John surgery. What was their training routine like? Did they throw too hard, too soon, at the start of spring training? Were they properly monitored? Did they throw too soon in the offseason? Did they throw too much between starts? What was the rest of their conditioning program like?

Alderson answered the question as to why he didn’t immediately order a MRI for Wheeler. It seemed somewhat plausible at the time, but after sleeping on it and considering the long list of ailing Mets’ pitchers under his watch, it left something to be desired.

Using “lawyerspeak,’’ Alderson defended his handling of Wheeler’s injury. There was his usual fancy language, but a sharp district attorney would nail him.

ON DECK: Mets Matters: Today’s Notebook.

6 thoughts on “Alderson Defense Of Handling Of Wheeler Injury Weak

  1. The mets aren’t the only team to go under a knife. This is an industry problem.

    Why is it that today’s pitchers have elbow problems and yesterday’s pitchers didn’t?

    However the statement about it being inevitable? Really? What an asshole.

  2. Delcos, Klapisch, and the others never really identify their alternative scenario. The reality is, once the ligament is compromised — and the ground for that was laid long before Wheeler joined the Mets — it will never actually heal without surgery. Basically, Alderson is right in saying that TJ surgery was inevitable. The only question is when the ligament would become so compromised that surgery could no longer be put off.

    So you could give Wheeler starts off, bring him down to 150-175 innings, etc. — and the most you would be doing is postponing the surgery, not eliminating the need for it. That is not a feasible long-term strategy. You cannot have a guy in your rotation skipping starts, going 5 innings, etc., over a protracted period of time.
    The assumption made by Delcos et al seems to be — the Mets should have taken a different approach! It all seems so obvious — just baby Wheeler more and there will be a much better outcome. But I really don’t know if that’s realistic. When Adam Wainwright chose to forgo TJ and just try to rehab, he went as long as he could and then had the surgery. The surgery’s going to happen, folks; the question is whether you’re going to put more pressure on the rest of your staff by following a speculative strategy of cutting on Wheeler’s innings in the hope of postponing the inevitable, or let him go as long as he can in his normal rotation, so long as he tolerates the pain, until the surgery becomes unavoidable.

    If people simply accepted that the only question about Wheeler was when, not if, he were to need TJ surgery, they might not be so quick to outrage about how the Mets handled it.

  3. OK Accoustic, answer this one simple question. since Dr Alderson “knew” that Wheeler had a ligament that was going to snap, why the hell did he decided that Wheeler din’t need an MRI last week?????? The answer is one of the following. Dr Alderson is a liar. Dr Alderson should have his license revoked for being a complete failure as Dr, or Dr Liarson is an asshole and an arrogant snot. Obviously he is a liar, and he is becoming as lousy a liar as he is a Dr or a GM.And your entire premise is WRONG as pitchers such as Halladay went years witha partial tear not ripping because of proper rest and treatment and workouts. There is no such thing as the inevitability of a total tear, unless of course you do nothing to try to prevent it, which is of course what your hero Dr Liarson and his little puppet Collins did. NOTHING!!!!!

  4. PS to the Dr Liarson supporter. If you remember when Liarson traded for Wheeler, the Giants were low on him because they knew his delivery would lead to problems and they were having difficulty convincing him to change. Since GM Liarson and Dr Liarson are so brilliant why did they do nothing to change his mechanics, and since they are so brilliant and pompous why couldn’t these one geniuses witht multiple heads convince a kid to help his career. Answer. LIARSON could have cared less. A body is a body. GM Liarson does not see people as people. They are just parts,all thes same and of little value. Changing his mechanics based on scientific approach would have made the risk less. But of course the better answer was to do Nothing, because peoplelike Liarson and his horde of blind followers believe that is the only approach.Certainly easiest as even the little puppet Collins can understand doing nothing.

  5. The Wilpons force us to go to the bargain bin when getting players. Cheaper the better. who cares if they are healthy . That’s all I see these days anyway.
    The medical staff on the Mets has always been suspect , for at least a decade or more now.
    Young Pitchers are ruined by warthon and staff. and when they get an old met who speaks his mind on how they should be playing.. out the door they go.
    So why bother.. Just realize until the Wilpons are dethroned we are stuck with status quo

    Steve C.