Mets’ Collins has a tricky situation in front of him

Aug 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins in the dugout prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins in the dugout prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Terry Collins has done a good job with managing the Mets, though he has a tendency to micromanage

Ordinarily managing a team that’s missing players due to injuries, Collins uses what he has at his disposal, and does a good job with it.

At the top of his Mets resume is a National League Championship, won in 2015. Though he had Daniel Murphy and his Louisville slugger that’s still on fire, Collins managed a team that year that was missing key pieces.

Their captain, David Wright, was gone for most of the season. They had an offense that averaged just 2.5 runs per game, and were last in the league in batting average. Some midseason trades and hot streaks from players turned the season around. But what gets overlooked is some very good managing from a guy who has been “fired” by fans pretty much every season he has been here.

2016 may have been some of Collins’ best times as the frontman of this team. Surely every manager screws up at times, as Collins did last year — you aren’t a professional manager if you don’t -– but with what he had, he worked wonders.

“I just need to re-evaluate at the end of this coming year what’s going on, where I am, how I’m feeling.”

If you told anyone with a pulse that the Mets were going to go through chunks of a season without David Wright, Matt Harvey, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Yoenis Cespedes, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, – are you still counting? You might run out of fingers – they probably would’ve said you won’t win 70 games.

Now add into the equation that your rotation includes guys named Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, and you needed to rely on guys like Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera…you probably aren’t going to do much.

But Collins managed like a magician, and got the most out of his players. Obviously, the players play, but the management of Collins to essentially have no choice but depend on these guys has catapulted them into the 2017 rotation and lineup.

While he micromanages the bullpen like no other, he pushed the right buttons and got through the season with a playoff berth. If it wasn’t for arguably the greatest postseason pitcher ever – Madison Bumgarner – who knows what would’ve happened.

Even after all the injuries and bad luck, New York still only finished three games worse than 2015, when they won the NL East. If the team can stay relatively healthy, and patch up the bullpen, the sky is the limit in 2017, which leads us to our next point: How does this all correlate to the 2017 season?

With injuries being the focal point of conversation in 2016, and some talk that 2017 might be the final season of Terry Collins baseball career, how will he manage the team on the field?

While pitching is what New York is known for – they’ll be the reason why this team succeeds as much as they can next season – will the team rush guys back sooner rather than later, knowing this might be their best chance with this current group?

Basically, will Collins push certain guys more than others? With Matt Harvey coming back from his in-season surgery to repair his thoracic outlet syndrome, will he risk going to a shaky bullpen more often than not, or stick it out with his stud pitcher? The same goes for Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz, and how he utilizes Zack Wheeler.

The best part of this team is obviously the rotation, and why get away from it late in the games if the pitch count is low? Especially with the bullpen still being a question mark, and Jeurys Familia possibly being suspended for a portion of the season, I’d expect to see Collins push the rotation a little more.

“I’ve always said a lot of it will be dictated by how I’m feeling. This was a tough year.”

With this possibly being Collins’ last season as manager of New York, we just might see a different style of coaching coming down from him.

One thing that is true is it might be scary to see Collins manage a team that is finally healthy. With what he has done in the past with guys like Eric Campbell, imagine having this lineup at full disposal. It just may happen this season.