Terry Collins’ Mishandling of Pitchers, Players Continues Unabated

My face when I see Terry Collins make an in-game move.

I have long been of the opinion that the Mets, when they do win a game, do so despite Terry Collins, not because of him. While it’s not totally fair to say that they lose games due to his managerial style — he can’t control, say… a second baseman dropping an easy pop fly at the end of a game. That was under Jerry Manuel’s watch, anyways.

No, let’s just say that many of his decisions have helped grease the skids for New York players to go into their clubhouse, unhappy. Let’s take last night’s (May 24) game for example. Collins decided to yank Robert Gsellman an inning earlier than he could have. His reasoning may have been noble — the 23-year-old righty hasn’t been the same as he was in 2016 — and he wanted him to “feel good” about his outing. Well, we all know what happened next, with the bullpen coughing up a 5–1 lead to the putrid San Diego Padres. To make matters worse, Gsellman then told the media that he could, indeed, have gone an extra inning.

To be fair to Collins, he’s managing a team without its ace, closer and second stud outfielder (Michael Conforto has claimed his stake as the first one for now). Then again, the skipper might have been partly responsible for both Yoenis Cespedes and Jeurys Familia’s situations. Anyone looking at the batting practice footage, where the Cuban outfielder was hobbling on one leg, could tell that he needed more rest. Nope. Collins put him in the lineup and he hurt his leg running to second. Now he’s working his way back after several weeks.

Now… Familia, the closer, who may have been a ticking time bomb with a blood clot in his shoulder, was brought into a game where he clearly wasn’t going to get a save. The next day, he had a horrible outing and the blood clot was revealed. He had surgery, likely ending his season… though saving his life, since blood clots are no joke. But this highlights a penchant Collins has for bringing in pitchers in unnecessary situations… don’t forget that warming up takes a toll on them as well. I worry about Jerry Blevins being his next victim of mishandling.

Collins also has me wondering what exactly Curtis Granderson has to do to not be in the lineup? The skipper has a little too much faith in his veterans sometimes. We’re nearly into June, and the outfielder, who is a very nice guy and great clubhouse man, is still well below .200. This is also the final year of his contract, and I’m not sure how many teams would want a 38-year-old player whose hitting fell off a cliff.

Yes, some pieces will be returning in the near future — Steven Matz and Cespedes, to name a couple, but I’m still not convinced Collins is the one to keep managing. The front office seems determined to keep him though. The logical question is… who would replace him? That’s a question that this organization, which is already under scrutiny for how they handle injuries, doesn’t seem willing to consider right now.

So, it looks like we Mets fans are stuck with Terry for the time being. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t blow out any more bullpen arms in the process.

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