Posted on June 28, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine

New York Mets Robert Gsellman

Image via nytimes.com

The never-ending parade of injuries to hit the New York Mets this season continues to be, well, never-ending. The latest to hit the injury list is starting pitcher Robert Gsellman, who pulled his hamstring during Tuesday’s loss to the Marlins. Gsellman suffered the injury trying to beat out an infield single in the top of the 4th. He is likely headed to the DL, making him the fifth Mets starter currently on the DL and the seventh overall this season.

“Very frustrating,” Gsellman said of the injury. “We’re dropping like flies. I want to stay out there and compete and get a chance to put the team in a position to win.”

Gsellman played a key role in helping the Mets reach the playoffs last September. But it’s been a struggle for him to build on that in 2017. In 14 starts and three relief appearances, Gsellman is 5-5 with a 6.16 ERA. Nevertheless, he was a pitcher the Mets could continue to send to the mound every five days amidst a slew of injuries to starting pitchers. He now joins Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Tommy Milone as Mets starters on the injured list.

The injury situation with the Mets has grown so bad that even the team’s broadcasters have become frustrated. After Gsellman left Tuesday’s game, Mets broadcaster and former big league pitcher Ron Darling expressed his disbelief at the string of injuries, as well as criticism of modern-day training.

“I honestly don’t know what to think because I’ve never seen anything like it — ever,” said Darling. “It’s a joke to watch this each and every night. There has to be a different way to train these athletes!”

Darling tried not to single out the Mets. But he said that the emphasis on weight lifting may be doing more harm than good for baseball players.

“You know,” Darling mused, “if baseball — and I’m not talking about the Mets — if baseball at some point doesn’t get these newbie trainers and get them in a room with some of the old trainers and people that took care of baseball players and how to keep them healthy and get them in a room and try to tap into some of their knowledge of how you train baseball players — not weightlifters, not six-pack wearers, baseball players — they’re doing a disservice to their million-dollar athletes that they’re paying. It’s a joke to watch this each and every night.”

The Mets have recently reviewed their strength and conditioning practices. However, Mets manager Terry Collins notes that the Mets have been hit by a wide variety of injuries this year.

“When you’ve got the variety of injuries that we’ve had — a lat, a scapula, a hamstring, a partial tear in the ligament, loose [bodies] — there’s no one description,” said Collins. “It just gets a little frustrating at times to continue to see them go down.”

In the long run, the Mets need to find a way to limit their injuries. In the meantime, the club needs to find a way to fill out its rotation after yet another injury. The Mets are hopeful that Wheeler will be able to return from a biceps injury this weekend, which will allow them to replace Gsellman before his next turn in the rotation. However, it will also force the Mets to keep Rafael Montero in the starting rotation. Montero is coming off his best start of the season but has struggled throughout his big league career.

The Mets are quickly running out of time to pull themselves back into contention. Without an extended winning streak in the next couple of weeks, New York will likely end up being sellers at the trade deadline instead of a team looking to improve for the stretch run. As the injuries continue to pile up with no end in sight, a winning streak seems unlikely, making it inevitable that the Mets be sellers this summer. When that happens, a string of injuries to the team’s rotation will be toward the top of the reasons why.

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