Watson: Jacob deGrom and hitting the wall

From SABR member Owen Watson at FanGraphs on October 29, 2015:

One of the many struggles of every baseball team in the major leagues is to balance the desire to win now and the desire to win in the future. That’s why we have arguments every April about reforming the arbitration system, why teams agonize over trade deadline decisions, and why we talk about pitcher workloads toward the end of each season. We want young, exciting players to be on the field as much as possible. Due to long-term team interests, that doesn’t always happen.

For the Mets, we’ve already witnessed an innings-limit battle play out during September with Matt Harvey, Scott Boras, and Harvey’s potential playoff availability in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. And, before the World Series started, Mets manager Terry Collins alluded to Jacob deGrom also feeling the possible effects of overuse:

“He’s at a stage where the ball doesn’t have the life down, even though he has the velocity,” Collins said. “It doesn’t have the life it once had. He’s been missing balls up in the zone.”

Usually, paying too much attention to word choice in manager interviews is a pointless exercise, but when the greatest strength of a team – its young, dominant starting pitching – is publicly called into question by the team’s manager, it’s at the very least something to pay attention to.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jacob-degrom-and-hitting-the-wall/

Originally published: October 29, 2015. Last Updated: October 29, 2015.