Mets shouldn’t be going to six-man rotation

By Danny Abriano

When Dillon Gee returns from the disabled list, the Mets will be going to a six-man starting rotation. The idea doesn’t appear to be a popular one among the starting pitchers, with Matt Harvey stating that he isn’t in favor of it. It’s easy to understand why they feel that way.

The starting pitchers are used to their routine, and going to a sixth starter will throw every one of them off each time through the rotation. They’ll either have one or two extra days of rest, depending on whether the Mets have any off days that week.

Another issue is that by going to a six-man rotation, the Mets will be getting less starts from Harvey, deGrom, and Syndergaard in order to fit Gee, Niese, and Colon in.

Additionally, using a six-man rotation will result in the Mets playing with a short (four-man) bench.

Terry Collins acknowledged that the pitchers were concerned with it, and said he explained the alternative (non six-man rotation) options to them.

"“We had to explain to them the big picture,” Collins said. “If we stay with the five-man [rotation], I’m gonna take you out after five innings. Are you guys okay with that?”"

Collins then laid out other options to the starting pitchers.

"“Next month, you’re going to go on the DL for two weeks…the next option is, none of you are pitching in September.”"

The issue, is that what Collins said to the pitchers really doesn’t jive.

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I don’t believe the Mets are going to a six-man rotation in order to conserve each starter’s innings. If that was the case, this would’ve been the plan all along. Rather, this appears to be a way to get Dillon Gee back into the rotation instead of shifting him to the bullpen.

Collins’ comment that he purportedly made to the pitchers about none of them pitching in September simply doesn’t make sense.

Neither Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, or Jacob deGrom are on an innings limit. DeGrom, who Collins said was on an innings limit, threw 178.2 innings last year, meaning his regular season limit is between 208.2 and 213.2 innings. That’s not an “innings limit,” it’s a regular workload.

Both Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are on an innings limit, but those limits were supposed to be dealt with — at least in Harvey’s case — by either a break in the middle of the season and/or skipping occasional starts.

The Mets made it clear from the beginning of the season that the plan is for Harvey to go wire-to-wire — including a potential playoff workload — and that discussion never involved a potential six-man rotation. Until now.

Collins noted that if the Mets don’t like how the way the six-man rotation is going and/or if pitchers are losing command or sharpness, the team will fix it.

However, the real question shouldn’t be what the Mets will do if the six-man rotation works out. The real question should be why the club is going to a six-man rotation in the first place.