May 3, 2010, 7:30 PM EST
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told the New York Daily News on Monday that Johan Santana is racking up high pitch counts early in games because of a plan that calls for him throw mostly inside fastballs the first time through the lineup.
The plan is designed to make his changeup more effective as the game goes on, and it’s probably a decent strategy, as long as he mixes it up from time to time.
But why is Warthen telling the whole world that such a plan exists? Is he or the organization so insecure that there’s a need to justify one bad outing from the game’s highest-paid pitcher?
Sure, any team with an advance scout worth his paycheck has already figured it out, but that doesn’t mean you give it away. Now every hitter in the league knows for sure. Now every scout watching the Mets is going to looking extra hard at similar patterns for the rest of the team’s starters.
Before you know it, the rest of the league will catch on to the fact that if you’re facing Oliver Perez and you stand in the box with the bat on your shoulder, you’re more likely than not to walk.
I’m as bored by generic answers from players and coaches as anyone, but Warthen should take a lesson. Unless he’s actually designing some new masterplan for Santana to be unveiled in the left-hander’s next start and this is just some grand misdirection, then he’s done the Mets a disservice.
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