Spring Training is fast approaching, pitchers and catchers have reported and full camp will soon begin. The New York Mets will play their first game on Friday, February 23 against the Braves. Storylines abound for the Amazin’s as there are many questions surrounding the organization.

How will Mickey Callaway handle his players?  

The 2017 offseason saw the Mets overhaul their coaching staff. Terry Collins was pushed out in favor of the 42-year old Mickey Callaway. Sandy Alderson also pulled the plug on longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen and head trainer Ray Ramirez. Attention is going to surround Callaway as we will see how his “caring, cooperative and fresh” approach to handling his roster will affect performance and health.

Injury issues derailed their season in 2017, Callaway’s handling of his players will play a key role in the clubs success in 2018. Mickey Callaway seems like he will be able to bring a modern approach of managing into the clubhouse. Terry Collins clearly was an old-school manager, both in managing style and in-game decision making. Collin’s lacked the advanced baseball analytical background that management sought. This caused much tension between Sandy Alderson and Collin’s throughout his tenure. In the end, Collins will go down as a Mets great. Even though he had issues, he was able to lead the club to back to back playoff berths and a World Series appearance in 2015.

It will be interesting to see how Callaway will handle the much similar roster. He has already discussed the possibility of not having a set closer, “pre-habbing” his pitchers as well as the possibility of a six-man rotation.

The Mets have an extremely talented group of pitchers, a healthy and effective crop of arms will help the team regain its dominance. Callaway was a part of transforming Cleveland into one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, he seems ready to take some of their ideas to Queens. The idea of pre-habbing is intriguing, it has his pitchers putting in work before they even start to throw.

“Everyone I’ve been around pretty much walks outside, stretches, plays catch, they do their bullpen. Our pitchers in Cleveland had about an hour-and-a-half routine before they even went out and played catch.” Callaway said (according to the New York Post) “They were with massage therapists, then they were with trainers, getting all these hands-on things done, then they went to the weight room to see the strength coach for extra stretching, then they went on the bike, then they went outside and stretched.”

I am a fan of any measure that will help with the health of our pitchers. 2017 saw Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia all miss significant time. Callaway’s ideas seem simple to implement and should help with the overall health of the Mets’ young arms. There has been a very old fashion feel to health and preparation in years past, Callaway seems like the Mets’ bridge into modern baseball.

The 2018 New York Mets will go as far as their pitching will take them. Will 2018 be another winning season for the Amazin’s? Only time will tell.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.


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