Posted by Thomas Brennan at 11:00 AM
Joel Sherman wrote an interesting article in the Post on January 15, noting what we all who follow the Mets closely know intuitively: how far this 2017 team goes depends on how healthy it is.
Simply put, in 2016, Granderson was the closest the Mets got to Cal Ripken, with 150 games. He, Cespedes, Duda, Wright, Walker, Cabrera and d'Arnaud, representing 7 of their 8 would-be starting 9 heading into 2016, averaged only 99 games played. That's an average of 39% of games missed. Love those sick day benefits. Heck, the sputtering Al de Aza got in only 2 less games than Cespedes' 132. Three back surgeries in one infield in a season is undoubtedly a major league record. Other guys (Reyes, Flores) got hurt too.
Pitching-wise, the vaunted starting 5 (Thor, Jake, Steve, Matt, and Zach) got to start only 92 or 93 games - so they did not start 43% of 2016's games, a lot due to Zach's zero starts, of course.
Colon got (thankfully) to start a bunch of the others, while Lugo and Gsellman primarily got most of the rest - and those 2 saved the season for them by starting really, really well. Wheeler (as noted) got zero, Harvey just 17, and 4 of the 5 had arm surgery since the last time they pitched.
Good news? Team depth on a still-not-quite-settled roster looks better (perhaps a lot better) to me starting 2017 than it did at the start of 2016. Even without Fat Bart. And early reports on our starters' health seem very hopeful.
So??? Hope for a heathy squad, but don't take it for granted that it will be. If that 99 games played per offensive guy can jump to 125, we're in great shape. If our 5 top starters can give us 125 combined starts, ditto.
Just as, if not more, important, may the health of you, the fine readers and writers of Mack's Mets, be excellent in 2017.
May each of you not miss a start.