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Mets are doing their pitchers a disservice

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Apr 30, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) walks into the clubhouse from the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) walks into the clubhouse from the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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The Mets need to go back to using five starting pitchers.

In an attempt to prevent injuries, the team has gone to a six-man rotation to limit its starters’ innings and give them more time between starts. It hasn’t worked.

None of the methods have worked: periodically skipping starts, pulling a starter from a game earlier than usual, or completely shutting them down.

Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo have all missed significant time due to injuries in their young careers.

None of them has ever thrown 200 innings in a season.

And they’re not all that young anymore. DeGrom is 29, Harvey is 28, Wheeler is 27, and Matz is 26.

Their arms no longer need to be babied. In fact, the babying might have led to the injuries.

The real disservice here is that the Mets are preventing their pitchers from taking the next step in their careers.

The team needs to let their pitchers pitch. That’s the only way any of these guys will ever reach the 200-inning milestone in a season.

There is a clear relationship between innings pitched and injuries and it is impossible to ignore.

Pitchers today throw far fewer innings than they used to, and get injured much more often.

In a 2014 New York Daily News article written by Bill Madden, Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan is quoted as saying:

"“When I pitched, we pitched every fourth day and guys would pitch 300 innings and it wasn’t considered a big deal. If you don’t get on the mound and develop stamina, you’re risking injury.”"

Next: Mets signed second round pick Mark Vientos

Putting someone on an innings limit sometimes foreshadows Tommy John surgery. Harvey, Wheeler, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Fernandez are just a few notable cases.

The time has come for the Mets to stop holding their hurlers back.

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