How Max Scherzer is preparing for the 1st season with Mets
Although things have gone sour between MLB and MLBPA, regarding their negotiations for a new CBA, players have no choice but to continue preparing for the 2022 season on their own until they receive the green light to show up for spring training.
And Mets star pitcher Max Scherzer is not excluded from this group. Scherzer, who is a member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, has been involved in talks with league owners. But unfortunately, little progress has been made, which means that the scheduled date for the arrival of pitchers and receivers at camp on February 16 is now seriously in jeopardy.
Either way, Scherzer is drawing on the lessons he learned from the start of the pandemic, when MLB and the MLBPA clashed over the terms of a shortened season. Whenever the lockout ends, Scherzer plans to show up for spring training ready to go, as he did nearly two years ago when the season was pushed back to late July.
“Yeah, I’m just gonna go for it. I’m just gonna strengthen my arm. I don’t know to what capacity. I don’t know how long the lockdown is going to last,” Scherzer told Tim Britton Athleticism. “But if COVID has shown us anything, it’s shown us that you’re just as much in danger not throwing as you’re throwing. I’d rather just go out and build my arm and be ready at all times, that way whenever the lockdown ends, it’s much easier to move into spring training then.
“I don’t want to sit idle and do nothing until we end the lockdown. I feel like that would be trying to speed up too quickly then. It’s easier on your body if you’re already at a high level of pitching. My my body is used to pitching for eight months when you factor in the playoffs. My routines and everything, I’m used to pitching for eight months.
While a regular spring training usually lasts about six weeks, players normally need about a month to prepare for the regular season. The start of spring training is set to be delayed to some extent, but the two sides still have three weeks to reach an agreement before the 2022 campaign risks being pushed back.
“What 2020 has shown us, when we only launch three or four months, that’s not always a good thing,” Scherzer said. Athleticism. “That rest wasn’t necessarily good for everyone. There could be a lot of dangers because of that. For me, looking at that lockdown, that’s what it is. From the point of view of training, I prepare for it no matter what.”
Scherzer was unable to make his scheduled start for the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 2021 NLCS due to a dead leg. However, he believes this is due to his new team giving him an extra day off between outings.
Scherzer, 37, threw just 67.1 innings during the shortened 2020 season, then came back to throw 195.3 last year (including the playoffs). But Scherzer doesn’t believe that jump had too much of an impact on him since his arm was built from pitching over a long period of time.
“Yeah. I didn’t have any risk factors telling me that going back to 200 or 220 rounds was going to be a major risk factor for me because I had built my body over the years,” Scherzer said. “A year-old abnormality was going to mean less to me than a younger arm.”
That’s why Scherzer expects to top the 200 innings mark this year, something he was able to do for nine consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2019.
It’s a good sign for the Mets, who are counting on Scherzer and Jacob deGrom to be their workhorses at the top of the rotation in 2022. But deGrom dealt with his own injuries last season, which saw his historic campaign ending prematurely on July 7 following a partial UCL sprain/tear to the right elbow.
Beyond Scherzer and deGrom, veteran right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker are behind them in the rotation. The No. 5 spot is currently expected to be a contest between Tylor Megill and David Peterson. But the Mets are expected to add another big league starting pitcher after the lockout ends.
The Mets could possibly look to sign a free agent like Carlos Rodón or Yusei Kikuchi, or explore the commercial pitcher market that could be made available, including Luis Castillo, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea or Frankie Montas.