Asked after the Mets’ 14-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels how Rice can rediscover last year’s form, Terry Collins said, “I’m not sure” -- indicating resignation that Rice may having difficulty doing so.
New York Mets
The manager cited last year’s workload, when Rice was a 31-year-old rookie. The southpaw made 73 relief appearances through Sept. 3, after which he underwent season-ending dual sports-hernia surgery.
Rice had never made more than 58 appearances in any professional season.
“The guy pitched in 73 games last year. And a lot of times the next year, when you pitch in that many games for the first time in your life, your arm doesn’t bounce back real fast,” Collins said. “It takes a little time. I’ve seen it where, unfortunately, you’ve got to go through it.
“We’ve got to find the sinker. That’s the pitch that’s missing. He’s always been a guy that will miss down, but when the sinker is working, he gets outs.”
Collins, meanwhile, offered no indication the Mets needed to dip to Triple-A for relief help before Monday’s series opener in Phoenix, despite the bullpen logging 13 1/3 innings during the series against the Angels.
“I’d have to say we’re OK.”