Joel Sherman: Willie Is Overusing Heilman

In his Hardball blog for the New York Post, Joel Sherman points out that Aaron Heilman is being overused.

Willie Randolph seems so determined to prove that he is in Aaron Heilman’s corner that he is going all Joe Torre-to-Scott-Proctor on him. Heilman leads the NL in appearances (12) and his 225 pitches are among the most of any NL reliever. Heilman has pitched in five of the Mets New York Mets ‘ past six games. This comes at a time when Joe Smith Joe Smith is pitching very well and Duaner Sanchez has come off the DL in a very effective manner. Obviously, Randolph doesn’t want to overuse that duo, especially Sanchez.

But he needs to find a way to back off Heilman a bit now. Heilman is just not accurately pounding the bottom of the strike zone as well as he has in the past. He is throwing plenty hard. But he is best when the ball is on the ground and he is working in positive counts, and there has not been enough of either this year. Perhaps — in the short run — Randolph would find less is more with Heilman.

As Sherman says, despite being a little bit handcuffed by Sanchez’s health situation, Randolph HAS TO change his bullpen approach. He is way too quick to yank Ollie or Maine if they get into trouble in the 5th inning on but he doesn’t think twice about using 4 guys out of the pen every night.

The entire bullpen is completely overused already and clearly Willie took away nothing from his experiences last season when his bullpen was completely overtaxed by the end of the season.

Sherman hit it right on the head, stubborn Willie is trying use Heilman as much as he can to WILL Heilman back on track. At the same time, Willie will not give his younger starters the opportunity to get out of jams and build confidence.

Willie’s stubbornness and his inability to grow, learn, and adjust as a manager is unbelievably frustrating for all but the most clueless of fans. It will ultimately end in his downfall, which for me can’t come soon enough.

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