Monday, February 23, 2015

New York Mets begin spring training with some optimism

The New York Mets pitchers and catchers reported on Thursday.  The Mets for the first time in a long time have some real optimism and are looking at competing for a playoff spot.  That is mainly because of the good  young pitching they have and especially getting their ace back Matt Harvey.  Harvey is good but he also brings something extra to the team.  He is a confident guy who won't settle for losing and that has rubbed off on the Mets. 

Mets manager Terry Collins addressed the media on Saturday which was their first official workout.  Here are some of the highlights of what he had to say.  Harvey will pitch in one of the first five games of the season.  He isn't sure if Harvey will pitch the home opener though.  They open on the road against the Nationals and the Braves.  Harvey will be used the same way that the Cardinals used Adam Wainwright back in 2012 when he was coming back from Tommy John surgery.  He pitched 198 2/3 innings that season. 

Harvey will not be skipping any starts but he will have five inning starts from time to time.  Collins wants Bobby Parnell to close when he returns but if Jenrry Mejia or another reliever is dominant as a closer he will remain there.  Dillon Gee will prepare for a starting role but if all six starters are still with the team come the end of the spring he will move to the bullpen.  The leadoff spot is up in the air between Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson.  He said the Mets are absolutely a playoff team and added "We have been sitting around for four years saying to be patient.  It's time for guys to step up and play the way they are expected to play". 

Here is what Harvey had to say to the medial also on Saturday.  There is no easing into it for him.  He anticipates that he won't reach the low 200s in innings pitched.  He said somewhere around 180 or so which is just throwing a number out there.  He said there was a mention of skipping starts in a brief meeting with GM Sandy Alderson.  He said it was a tough question to say if he would rather skip starts or be limited to five inning starts.  He said it is the managers call in the end but all five guys wouldn't want to do that and coming out of a game early is a tough decision. 

He said there really was no tension between him and the team during rehab last year and he thinks a lot of it was made up.  He said internally they were fine.  He said he will discuss scaling back his workload between starts. 

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