Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The curse of Generation K?

In the mid 1990's, the Mets thought they'd rebuilt their pitching staff with the next generation of young guns developed in their farm system.

But, one by one, Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, & Jason Isringhausen had fallen victim to injury or some other unfortunate circumstance.

Over the last 4 years, the Mets again thought they had a dominating squad of young arms that would last for years to come, but look what's happened!

Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman have all missed significant chunks of time. DeGrom in particular has rebounded from elbow surgery that prematurely ended his season last year, but has run into some bad luck of late, losing to the Yankees & Marlins in the last week. Lugo started the year on DL, and will finish it there, too. So will Matz, who faces surgery for the same elbow injury that sidelined deGrom last year. Harvey, at least, is working his way back. Gsellman replaced Lugo in the rotation last week, coming off the DL. Syndergaard still hasn't been cleared for baseball activities as of this writing.

Naturally, the fan base has had reason to be upset with team management on how they're handling their pitchers. The truth is, no matter what kind of training regimen a player goes through, regardless of position, he's bound to end up with an injury at some point. That's just the nature of the game. The injury plague isn't exclusive to the Mets, as every team has their fair share, but for a team that had lofty expectations coming off back-to-back post-season appearances, the bar had been raised too high by a fan base spoiled by success.

Of the 1995 class, Isringhausen & Pulsipher returned---separately. Isringhausen reinvented himself as a elite closer, and performed those duties for the Mets when they brought him back in 2011. It is this writer's opinion that in Matt Harvey's case, his days as a starter may actually be over. He hasn't been able to pitch past 5 innings in any start this season, and something tells me his future lies in the bullpen. So much for the over-hyped "Dark Knight". Pulsipher was bounced around, traded to Milwaukee in 1998, brought back by the Mets in 2000, only to leave again.

So what about Generation K 2.0? They'll be back together in 2018, but for how long? No one knows for sure. That, friends, is the scary part. With management worrying about pitch counts and the demands of certain greedy agents threatening to take their clients to free agency after their contracts run out (i.e. Harvey), the Mets' best answer is in a chapel, holding a prayer meeting. Just sayin'.

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