Kevin Kernan (New York Post) collected the thoughts of one of NY’s emerging young pitchers, Zack Wheeler, who has become more vocal this offseason as the team approaches what should be a turning point. 2015 is being presented as the year when excuses will be laid to rest and winning will be restored.
“…Wheeler likes what he sees about the Mets…He took the bullpen mound on Tuesday at the team’s spring training complex, an area called the “six-pack”. Matt Harvey stood on the mound to his right while Jacob deGrom was on his left.”
“That was cool”, Wheeler noted later that day. Yes, yes it is. Every time I hear those three names mentioned in the same sentence, I get excited about going watching three aces compete. Not just against the opposition, but against each other as well. Matt Harvey obviously gets the nod at the moment, but I’d be surprised if deGrom or Wheeler let him run away with it. That’s going to be fun to watch.
Kernan adds that “Some are criticizing the Mets’ young players for speaking their minds and saying the franchise finally is on its way back to the postseason.”
Hey. Baseball is fun, and even Wheeler admits that the clubhouse is rapidly changing. “We are all from different places…but we all have the same things in common”, he said. “We all like to joke around, give each other a hard time. We all get along. Nobody is too serious.”
This exactly how it should be. The well balanced dynamic of personalities and abilities is such an improvement from where the team was this time last year.
As far as how other players are progressing this offseason, Wheeler adds “Obviously, Matt took The Show by storm and so did deGrom. Me and Noah [Syndergaard] may be a little bit different, so I think that’s always the thing, you can’t really compare pitchers to their success because they did unrealistic things.”
This is very true, Syndergaard clearly has the body, the velocity and the stuff- but the Mets need to see a few more improvements out of the 21 year old phenom’s execution before he punches his ticket. And that’s alright, it’s normal, especially at his age.
On the position players who’ll be surrounding him all season. “I think his shoulder will be fine…David [Wright] has been down here working hard [all] offseason, and I think [Curtis] Granderson knows his body…what’s he’s been doing wrong…I think Kevin [Long, hitting coach] can help him with that.”
How does he feel about his first baseman? “If [Lucas] Duda stays healthy, he is going to have a big year…he’s not going to go out of his way to talk to anybody…but he works hard, wants to get to the top and be the best.”
It’s great to see Wheeler have such a detailed understanding of his teammates and the desire to go out of his way to speak on their behalf to reporters. I don’t want to hear Fred or Jeff Wilpon speak anymore. Although I support the majority of work Sandy Alderson has done, I don’t want to hear him talk anymore either. Same goes for Terry Collins. To me, they all still represent a different side of this organization that I’d rather compartmentalize and just focus on the joy of baseball. I like that this is what Wheeler and the rest of his teammates are doing too.
Who cares what others are saying, no one has ever believed in the Mets, other than their fans. Right now, this year, it’d be nice to forget what’s happened and look forward to some great baseball that we can root for again.