Six-man or five-man rotation? Six or five are the magic numbers circling the heads of the Mets brass right now.
The Mets need to stand by their convictions. I know that is easier said than done sometime, but it rings true in many instances with the Mets. Manager Terry Collins, on Friday, gave us a feisty press conference when asked about the Mets' six man-rotation after it was revealed that Dillon Gee would be given a “spot” start on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. As GM Sandy Alderson described it on Thursday, it will be a six-man light, 5-man heavy rotation moving forward. This comes less than a week after it was announced in San Diego that Gee would be out of the starting rotation and would be moved to the bullpen after just one turn through a six-man rotation.
Here would be my advice to the Mets, stick to what you think you should do and do not listen to the criticism. Yes, Gee would have made it easier to stick with it if he pitched well, which he did not. So, that made the initial decision to trash it a much easier one. Now, they are playing it down the middle. Gee will be in the bullpen for the most part but will be given spot starts in order to limit the workload on the likes of Harvey and Syndergaard. Collins on Friday showed frustration and a little bit of anger when having to answer questions about how and why everything was handled the way it was. I get it. It is ultimately not his decision. That is why it is comical when Mets fans scream for Wally Backman to be the Mets manager. It will never happen, because he is a free thinker. Backman would want to do it his way. That kind of managing is not what the Mets signed up for when they brought in Alderson to run the franchise.
The current manager is not a puppet, that is too strong. But there is one direction and line of thought set down from the management above through the manager and onto the field. So if you feel the manager should be changed, then you should also look for Sandy to go as well. Both men are in a difficult spot. Collins is not able to be himself in that dugout. He must take direction and do things that - at times - he does not agree with. But he is in the position he is in because he agreed that he would take direction.
For Alderson, he is the GM of a major market team but is unable to spend like other general managers in similar positions. So when Collins showed frustration on Friday, it is about the process and the decision being handed down. Both men knew what they were signing on for when they took their positions. They now need to be stronger with the baseball decisions that they make. Don’t listen to the outside noise or the complaints of a Harvey about extra rest. It is their vision for this franchise that will hopefully make them relevant for years to come. Terry needs to answer the questions and not get frustrated, but Alderson needs to also stand by his decisiosn and not make Collins’ job that much more difficult.