During last nights broadcast, Gary Cohen mentioned that he had asked Jerry Manuel about his usage of Fernando Nieve. Gary said that Jerry is “studying” Fernando Nieve in the bullpen role and seeing how he responds to different situations. Now if you have heard this before, I assure you that you are not insane. Jerry has said and made it VERY clear that he wants to test his players early on in the year with different situations to see results. In theory, im sure this is not a bad practice(except when you run a bullpen catcher to pinch hit for your team in the bottom of the ninth) and im sure many managers in the NL use it but lets take a trip to the not so far back past.
July 19, 2009 – The hobbled Mets suffered yet another injury Sunday, with Fernando Nieve having to be carted off the field after straining his right quadriceps muscle trying to beat out a chopper in the second inning. The Mets lost the game in addition to their starting pitcher, 7-1, to the Braves. “It’s obviously a string of bad luck,” David Wright said. “I don’t know what else there is to say.” – Adam Rubin, NY Daily News
Jerry Manuel must remember that Fernando Nieve is a pitcher who is still recovering from an injury. Just as the Mets were seen as being very precautious with all “potential” injuries this season, I believe the Mets should also be proactive in avoiding putting themselves in a position ofÂ potential injuries. Granted, in this game of baseball you can get injured from just about anything from walking down the stairs of the dugout to kicking a chair in frustration. According to ESPN, Fernando Nieve is not only the MLB leader in appearences so far this year at 17 but is on pace for 102 apperences for the year…which would shatter the Mets record for apperences at 86, currently held by Pedro Feliciano.
Now I doubt Nieve will reach 102 appearances but Jerry should start to scale back his appearances before this tax on his arm rears its ugly head. Last season is still very fresh in the minds of everyone that endured it. The Mets have all the pieces in their bullpen for every type of situation that there is no need for one person to already have 17 appearances and leading the league. Perhaps Manuel should consider leaving his starters go deeper into games and stretch the 100 pitch count bar. Unfortunately, none of us are Jerry Manuel and ultimately Jerry will do what he want…I just dont want to be the one to say “I told you so”.