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Mets give away Johan Santana's plan

May 3, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

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.

  1. dc - May 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Relax. I’m pretty sure Johan Santana won’t fall off the face of the earth because of this comment by Warthen. Johan’s a pretty smart pitcher and Warthen, believe it or not, is a pretty smart pitching coach. Ollie actually pitched pretty well tonight. Those idiots on the other team still swing occasionally.

  2. Charles Gates - May 3, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Is he or the organization so insecure that there’s a need to justify one bad outing from the game’s highest-paid pitcher?
    Probably.
    But at least there was something more to it than the generic ‘throw stikes and changes speeds.’ I mean, before he said it, how many of ya’ll thought the Mets management were capable of coming up with an actual plan? Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?

  3. GimmeSomeSteel - May 3, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    I’m not surprised that Mets management came up with a plan. I’m surprised that it worked, at least until Sunday night.

  4. Dan - May 3, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    It’s a double secret blind switch. He’s really going to be throwing his knuckler the first time through the lineup and hit them with screwball after that.
    The Mets are big fans of John LeCarre.

  5. Joey B - May 4, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    “Relax. I’m pretty sure Johan Santana won’t fall off the face of the earth because of this comment by Warthen. Johan’s a pretty smart pitcher”
    Of course. You only throw 3-4 pitches. Patterns become obvious quickly. At the end of the day, the biggest advantage or disadvantaqe most pitchers have is being able to keep hitters off-balance. It’s like a poker game. When someone shows you a bluff after you fold, it generally means he wants to put that thought in your mind, usually because he won’t be bluffing anymore.
    Maybe.

  6. jwb - May 4, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    “It’s like a poker game. When someone shows you a bluff after you fold, it generally means he wants to put that thought in your mind, usually because he won’t be bluffing anymore.”
    Eh, I only bluff when my first card is red. Keeps ‘em guessing.

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