Acting general manager Zack Scott defended the Mets’ medical and performance staff when it comes to the plethora of soft-tissue issues that have spurred a parade of players landing on the injured list in what he also described as a “mediocre” season in Flushing.
Without singling any of them out specifically, Scott assigned some of the injury blame to the Mets’ players for not being compliant with the medical staff’s plans to keep them healthy.
“In some cases, you can have the best plan, and if the plan’s not followed, that’s not going to necessarily yield a good result. Sometimes that’s the issue,” Scott said before Tuesday’s series opener against Nationals. “On the soft tissue [injuries], we’ve talked through each one, but there’s nothing that stood out to me as some egregious mistake in our process, in our treatment, in our training, that led to it.
“I think there are specific examples where it’s clear that something could have been handled differently. Most of the time, to be honest, it’s compliance issues.”
Star shortstop Francisco Lindor currently is on the injured list with an oblique injury, and deadline acquisition Javier Baez is day-to-day after leaving Sunday’s game in Philadelphia with hip tightness that has moved to his back. Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Carlos Carrasco and Robert Gsellman also have spent significant time on the injured list with soft-tissue ailments. Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and Jose Peraza were sidelined with hand or finger injuries and ace starter Jacob deGrom is currently on the IL with right forearm stiffness.
Scott added that he wasn’t attempting “to vilify [any] players,” and it is unclear which Mets he was speaking about specifically.
When asked to elaborate on his “compliance” remark, Scottt said: “Actually following the plan. Because these are all individuals and control their own bodies and sometimes they’re not as compliant as they should be. That happens. I’ve seen that happen in the past.
“Going back to the individualized approach. You’ve got to take ownership of your career and your health, as well. It’s really an easy narrative to put it on performance staff or put it on hitting coaches. But that’s oversimplified. This is a partnership with those groups and the players and everybody has to be pulling in the direction.”
The Mets entered this six-game homestand with seven losses in their previous eight games to fall to just one game above .500 (56-55) for the season and from first place to third place in the NL East, 2 1/2 games behind the division-leading Phillies. They had lost 15 of their first 24 games since the All-Star break, and ranked second-to-last in MLB in runs scored, ahead of only the Pirates.
“Obviously there’s plenty of games left, and we have a chance to still compete and win this division,” Scott said. “It’s baseball and … there’s always a chance, so you can’t get too down or too high when things are going well.
“That said, we’ve played very mediocre baseball for most of the year. This recent stretch has been much worse than mediocre. We’d have taken mediocre at this point. For this stretch it’s been unacceptably bad, and we need to be better. But we’re not gonna panic because you can’t do that in this game.”
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