Yesterday, after his press conference from the Mets Spring Training Complex, Mets manager Terry Collins was a guest of Mike Francesa on the YES Network. Collins discussed Johan Santana and his starting rotation, Bobby Parnell, and a host of other Mets topics.
Before that, Collins addressed the media and the following is a summary of what was covered including the bullpen, the outfield, which prospects might make the team out of camp. Here is a brief summary of everything that was discussed.
- Collins said he did not worry about Michael Bourn because he was never on the roster.
- Johan Santana will pitch April 1st on opening day, and thinks Jon Niese is ready to turn the corner.
- Plans to talk to David Wright about being the team captain, but doesn’t believe he needs a “C” on his jersey.
- Matt Harvey has no innings limit, and Collins strongly believes that “if Matt Harvey pitches 210 innings, he is going to win 17 games”.
- Terry believes his four infielders are set, and catching situation is in good hands with John Buck.
- On the rotation, and Zack Wheeler making the team out of camp, Collins said the following: “As we sit here today, no, we have five starters. He needs to go to Triple-A and pitch. If he wants to be on the staff, go and be the best pitcher at Triple-A and force us to call you up”. Collins stated that he is anxious to see Wheeler throw, but does not want to put any undue pressure on him.
- Collins commented on the the situation with Travis d’Arnaud, and said that he needs to play everyday, saying “If he makes the big league club, he is going to play everyday.”
- If Wheeler is not ready and there is an injury early, Collins believes Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia, and Aaron Laffey will be in the group to possibly fill in as starters.
- Terry said he wants to see Zach Lutz because he is a legitimate candidate to be a right-handed bench option. Justin Turner, along with Lutz, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, and Andrew Brown among others will all get a look in the outfield this spring.
- Collins believes that Brandon Lyon and Bobby Parnell are in the mix if Frank Francisco is not ready to go on opening day. Terry also plans to give Josh Edgin some looks in the 9th inning this spring. Francisco is not yet throwing, and still has some swelling in his elbow.
- Left-handed reliever options include Robert Carson, Aaron Laffey, Scott Rice, along with Josh Edgin and Tim Byrdak. Pedro Feliciano has a leg up due to his experience.
- Jordany Valdespin impressed Collins during his time in Winter ball, and will remain an option in the outfield
- Nobody has the inside track on the backup utility infield spot, with Justin Turner, Brian Bixler, Omar Quintanilla, and Brandon Hicks being in the mix.
- On the outfield, Collins said Lucas Duda will be his left fielder, and believes he is the “biggest and strongest guy in the league behind Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton.” Collins emphasized Duda’s ability to drive the ball the opposite field, and stressed that he needs to get back to doing that. Collins will see what the best fits are for the other two outfield spots, possibly platoon situations.
- When questioned about his contract status, Collins replied that his focus is on today and he is not worried about what might happen in the future. Collins believes that he has to do a better job at making sure his players are ready to play, because he feels he did not do a good enough job last season.
- Collins was impressed with the number of position players arriving early in camp, prior to their scheduled reporting date.
- Lead-off candidates need to demonstrate the ability to get on base. They need to make pitchers work and have to battle even if the player does not get on base. Collins believes that being a good base-runner and getting on base trumps speed. Collins also said that the team played well when Mike Baxter batted in the lead-off spot last season, and he could see that option materializing again.
- Terry’s biggest concern is his bullpen, and he is worried that the starters may not be able to go deep into games. The starting staff needs to go deep and he plans to lengthen them out this Spring. He wants to make sure that the bullpen does not get worn out by mid-season.
What are your thoughts on what Terry Collins had to say? What are your biggest concerns about the team this season?