Terry Collins held his first press conference on the Spring on Friday at Tradition Field. Nothing new really, just Terry being Terry. Here’a rundown of what he had to say…
- Regarding incumbent shortstop Ruben Tejada, Collins said he has rededicated himself. “He’s ready to show people he’s the starting shortstop.” However, Collins insisted that he has competition for the starting job from veteran Omar Quintanilla and that he hasn’t been named starter yet.
- As he has said previously, Collins stated that Wilmer Flores will get plenty of time at shortstop this Spring.
- Collins said outfielder Chris Young could be an everyday player and also be someone along with Curtis Granderson that can replace Marlon Byrd‘s 2013 season.
- If Lucas Duda and Ike Davis can hit the way he knows they can,”we’ll figure out a way to get their bats in the lineup.” Collins may need to be reminded that under current MLB rules, he cannot turn in a lineup card with 12 hitters on it.
- If Juan Lagares doesn’t win a job as a starting outfielder, he is unsure if he’ll go to minors or stay on bench. It would be criminal if Lagares was to be squandered on the bench again as they did last season for two months when they promoted him and then gave him 20 or so sparse at-bats until becoming the everyday centerfielder.
- He is leaning toward Jon Niese as his Opening Day starter and says Bartolo Colon is an old pro. “He knows how to prepare. He’s going to bring that to the table for our young players. They will turn to him.” However, Collins said he has no preference who starts opening day and will ultimately go with the best guy.
- In the bullpen, Collins made it sound like Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth are near-locks to make the team, according to Anthony DiComo. Collins said Bobby Parnell is still his closer and that he threw off a mound today for the first time since having herniated disk surgery, “He tossed 10 pitches and looked great.”
- “We think 2014 is going to be a good year for us,” Collins said. “We’ve got some guys that need to step up.”
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal summed up Collins’ press conference the best. “It doesn’t matter all that much what a manager says on Feb. 14.”