Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets' New Throwing Program Well Liked

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets' New Throwing Program Well Liked

Article excerpt

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Tucked away in the back of the Mets' spring training complex is a bullpen area that often becomes the main attraction during the early parts of spring training.

The members of the Mets' vaunted rotation will trek there to throw their bullpen sessions while plenty of Mets executives look on, and hordes of reporters and photographers take videos and photos.

This spring, that back area has not been as focal a point during spring training as in past years. The team has cut down on how often their starters throw in an attempt to keep them healthy, and one of the reductions includes pushing back bullpens from every two days to every three days.

"I'm not going to complain about an extra day of rest," Mets starter Noah Syndergaard said.

The Mets' plan to reduce throwing has been a hit thus far with the starting pitchers, and team staffers are raving about its effect. The starters have recently thrown more in drills as they've started working toward their first Grapefruit League starts, but their arms still feel fresh.

"My arm feels great every day. It's felt the same every day going out there," Syndergaard said Thursday afternoon. "I haven't worried about my arm being sore."

Teams are always tinkering with throwing programs to try to keep their starting pitchers healthy, and the Mets placed an emphasis on it this year. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all underwent season-ending surgery last year while Zack Wheeler failed to pitch in the majors due to setbacks in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Only Syndergaard avoided injury among the aces.

Mets manager Terry Collins previously said pitchers may have thrown too often early in camp last year, and he and pitching coach Dan Warthen decided to give the starters one extra day of rest between sessions. Syndergaard said the every-other-day routine had been "super taxing" on his arm. …

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