Ron Darling questions training regimen as RHP Robert Gsellman hurts hammy

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Mets pitcher left a game with an injury Tuesday night, and broadcaster Ron Darling speculated that the training regimen throughout Major League Baseball is to blame.

New York right-hander Robert Gsellman left against theMarlinsin Miami after he came up limping while trying to beat a grounder. Gsellman grabbed the back of his left thigh and grimaced. He later was diagnosed with a left hamstring strain.

"I honestly don't know what to think because I've never seen anything like it -- ever," said Darling, who pitched for the Mets from 1983 to 1991. "It's a joke to watch this each and every night. There has to be a different way to train these athletes!"

Mets manager Terry Collins said Gsellman's recovery likely won't be quick.

"When you're a pitcher and you have a hamstring, it's going to be some time,'' Collins said.

"Very frustrating,'' Gsellman said. "We're dropping like flies. I want to stay out there and compete and get a chance to put the team in a position to win.''

Darling speculated that baseball's focus on weightlifting is contributing to the injuries, and he said that is not the proper way for baseball players to take care of their bodies.

"You know, if baseball -- and I'm not talking about the Mets -- if baseball at some point doesn't get these newbie trainers and get them in a room with some of the old trainers and people that took care of baseball players and how to keep them healthy and get them in a room and try to tap into some of their knowledge of how you train baseball players -- not weightlifters, not six-pack wearers, baseball players -- they're doing a disservice to their million-dollar athletes that they're paying. It's a joke to watch this each and every night."

Injuries have plagued the Mets' pitching staff this season. The team has placed 15 players on the disabled list, including five starting pitchers.

They include:

Noah Syndergaard, partly torn lat muscle, last pitched on April 30.

Matt Harvey, right shoulder injury, last pitched on June 14.

Zack Wheeler, bicep tendinitis, last pitched on June 19.

Seth Lugo, partly torn elbow ligament, first start on June 11.

Steven Matz, strained flexor tendon, first start on June 10.

Tommy Milone, sprained left knee, last pitched on May 21.

Although Darling did not single out the Mets, they have been part of the weightlifting trend across the majors. The team hired Mike Barwis as senior strength and conditioning coordinator in 2014. Barwis comes from a football background, and he once was director of strength and conditioning for the Michigan football team.

"Obviously, all the injuries that are happening, there's got to be a different way to train these athletes," Darling said. "I think they're bigger and stronger -- not necessarily built to play 150 games or make 35 starts. That's a problem, but that's the nature of the sport.

"They're doing a disservice to the million dollar athletes they are paying. It's a joke to watch this happen each and every night."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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