The Mets want David Wright to be the face of the franchise for years to come

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Over at the New York Daily News, Andy Martino reports that, even though extension talks haven’t taken place, the Mets are probably going to try to keep David Wright in a Mets uniform for years to come.

The key thing is whether the Mets think Wright will become injury prone all of a sudden. Which, last year notwithstanding, he never has been. The current thing — that injured pinky — was freakish and, as of today anyway, is no longer keeping him out of the lineup.

Wright is a generally durable and consistent guy. Seems like it would make an awful lot of sense to lock him up, especially considering that there’s really no one else anywhere near needing locked up on the horizon.

No one pounds the zone anymore

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“Work fast and throw strikes” has long been the top conventional wisdom for those preaching pitching success. The “work fast” part of that has increasingly gone by the wayside, however, as pitchers take more and more time to throw pitches in an effort to max out their effort and, thus, their velocity with each pitch.

Now, as Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer reports, the “throw strikes” part of it is going out of style too:

Pitchers are throwing fewer pitches inside the strike zone than ever previously recorded . . . A decade ago, more than half of all pitches ended up in the strike zone. Today, that rate has fallen below 47 percent.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Most notable among them, Lindbergh says, being pitchers’ increasing reliance on curves, sliders and splitters as primary pitches, with said pitches not being in the zone by design. Lindbergh doesn’t mention it, but I’d guess that an increased emphasis on catchers’ framing plays a role too, with teams increasingly selecting for catchers who can turn balls that are actually out of the zone into strikes. If you have one of those beasts, why bother throwing something directly over the plate?

There is an unintended downside to all of this: a lack of action. As Lindbergh notes — and as you’ve not doubt noticed while watching games — there are more walks and strikeouts, there is more weak contact from guys chasing bad pitches and, as a result, games and at bats are going longer.

As always, such insights are interesting. As is so often the case these days, however, such insights serve as an unpleasant reminder of why the on-field product is so unsatisfying in so many ways in recent years.