Unusual Position “Coaching” By This New York Mets Pitcher
New York Mets right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer has won three Cy Young awards, one in the American League and two in the National League. The $43 million hurler has always pitched well and defended his position. To say that Scherzer puts everything he has into his starts, may be an understatement. Even when he is not pitching, "Mad Max" can look like a caged animal in the dugout.
Apparently, there is a method to the new Mets starting pitcher's madness. According to friend of The Drive with Charlie & Dan, Tim Healey, Scherzer huddles "with outfield coach Wayne Kirby and/or analyst Jack Bredeson to discuss where he wants his outfielders to play against each batter, taking an active role in a defensive alignment process."
If Mets manager Buck Showalter, and the rest of the coaching staff didn't think that the 8-time All Star had something valuable to say, well, then they would either ignore him or tell him thanks anyway. However, the Mets are interested. Wayne Kirby told newsday.com, “He admits he’s a fly-ball pitcher, so we want to cross the T's and dot the I's and hopefully be there when that ball is hit in the air. That’s what we want to do. He understands what he’s going to do. It’s his game. We do what he needs us to do.” It seems like healthy communication but it is certainly not the norm.
How do the Mets outfielders take the starting pitcher's input? Mets center-fielder Brandon Nimmo told Tim Healey, “Max has what he wants to do down. And it’s worked for a long time. So I have zero input for him on what I think is best.” Amazin's left-fielder Mark Canha, added on newsday.com, “If he tells me where to play, I’m going to do it. You can bet I’m going to do it.”
Does the 37-year-old pitcher feel like he brings something unique to the defensive alignments? You bet he does. “As the years went on, I felt like I was right in my assessment of where the left-fielder needed to be playing, and it gradually evolved out of that, to be able to understand where all three are playing. By positioning the outfielders, I felt like I understood the hitter a little bit more. It was one more extra layer of intel on the hitter,” Scherzer told newsday.com. Either way, I am not sure anyone would want to tell Max Scherzer that he is wrong.