In a fantastic interview with Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, New York Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland laid forth a motivational mantra for his pitching staff in 2019 and candidly touched on a number of other subjects as the Mets inch closer to Spring Training.
As for his message of inspiration to the Mets hurlers heading into a new season, Eiland provided a simple, less-is-more, type of quote for his men.
“Make pitches, not excuses,” Eiland told Kernan. “We’re not in the excuse-making business. Pitch to win every pitch. Don’t take one pitch off.”
After a 2018 season that saw the Metropolitans starting rotation of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Jason Vargas, and a few others pitch to a 3.54 ERA, good for fourth in the National League and sixth-best in the majors, Eiland clearly has his sights set on bigger things for the group this year.
“I’m proud to be associated with this pitching staff. There is going to be a lot of competition among our starters, each one trying to outdo the other,” Eiland said, before turning his sights onto more pressing matters. “I want us to be the last team standing. Individual awards are well and good and people deserve them. But, we’re here to win a championship. That’s the bottom line.”
With the bevy of talent strewn about this Metsies rotation, the newfound, elite-level depth that now resides in the bullpen in Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, and incumbent lights-out reliever Seth Lugo, as well as the revamped positional roster, Eiland has all the reason in the world to be confident with his ball club.
“We’ve got a good supporting cast now. We got [Wilson Ramos] behind the plate. We’ve got a healthy [Juan Lagares] and [Keon Broxton] in center field,” Eiland gushed. “[Michael Conforto] is coming off the second half he had, Brandon Nimmo had a strong year. I’m looking forward to seeing this kid Pete Alonso play. There are lots of good things happening.”
In addition to the subjects hit above, Eiland also discussed the trade rumors surrounding Syndergaard, lauded the Diaz addition, and had nothing but great feedback for new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, noting that he “[doesn’t] know when [Van Wagenen] sleeps”.
Check out the entire interview (link above). It really is terrific.