By: Michael Ganci

Cerrone: Michael Conforto is a Star in the Making for Mets

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Matt Cerrone is the creator and owner of Metsblog.com, the most acclaimed Mets’ blog on the internet, which generates millions of page views. Recently, the czar of Mets blogging joined the Daily Stache for the latest edition of #9innings, which you can check out below.

Have you ever seen anything like this pitching staff?

No. I mean, even the Braves in the 90s had a weakness. I think what makes these guys so special is the combination of youth, consistent power and command and know-how of their secondary pitches. It’s remarkable.

Despite the lack of big thumpers, can the Mets sustain last year’s pace? 

Their pitching staff, closer and playing 38 games against the Phillies and Nationals should be enough, on its own, to keep them a .500 team. I think David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto decide the season.

With all of their off season moves, do you consider the Mets to be the NL East favorite?

I think it’s a toss up with the Nationals, who are going to be super motivated coming off last year.

Does Daniel Murphy put the Nationals over the top?

Only if he has a full season like he had the first two rounds of the postseason for the Mets, and I don’t see that happening.

Eventually the Mets will need to give these pitchers the paydays they deserve. Who’s the most likely to be a lifetime Met? Who’s the most likely to be traded one day?

I see Matz and deGrom as most likely to be here forever, with Harvey most likely to be traded before he becomes a free agent.

David Wright has chronic issues, but the Mets need to find ways to keep him fresh. Does that make Wilmer Flores extra valuable? Do you think David can last a full season?

I think this is why they have four other guys on the infield that can all play third base. I expect Wright to play 120 games or so, hitting around .275 with 10-15 HR. This is fine. The Mets need more, but some of that falls on Michael Conforto, as well…

Defense was a big issue for the Mets in the World Series, and they arguably haven’t improved a ton, other than Neil Walker replacing Daniel Murphy. What do you make of their defense?

I actually think Walker is a lot better than Murphy. And, though his stats are similar, Asdrubal Cabrera knows the shortstop position better than Flores or Ruben Tejada. It’s more than just range and double plays, it’s knowing how to swim a tag, straddle a bag, set up for a relay throw, hold a runner with a double clutch, etc. I think Walker and Cabrera do this better than Murphy and Flores/Tejada.

Do you see more moves on the horizon or will we have to wait until in-season?

I think they want another outfielder, ideally someone who can also back-up Lucas Duda at first base. They really need more bodies in the bullpen. I want a set-up man, but have no problem with a team refusing to give a multi-year deal to a reliever. That’s fine, but I do think they need more people in the mix.

Mike Piazza was finally elected to the Hall of Fame? Do you agree with his inclusion? What took so long?

The Hall of Fame is overrated and the voting system is a joke, that’s why it took so long. Of course he should be in the Hall of Fame.

When I use the term “Met Killer,” who’s the first guy you think of? Why?

Chipper Jones. There have been others, but, aside from his stats, a) he loved the rivalry, b) those games were crazy fun, despite the outcomes, and c) he named his kid Shea.

What do you think of the Mets re-signing Cespedes? Did the fan base force management into action?

The way Sandy Alderson handled negotiations with Cespedes was brilliant! I’m looking at it like a one-year deal, because I think there’s no way he doesn’t opt out. I hear at least four teams that typically spend money, who did not need him this season, will be in the market for a corner outfielder. So, I bet he gets a four or five year deal next winter. No, I don’t think fan-pressure motivated Alderson, which is not his style. Instead, as is usually the case, it was about years not money for him. And, when Yo was looking for 5-7 years, he was a non-issue for Alderson. However, he became a realistic option when this level deal was put on the table.

Finish this sentence. At the end of 2016, the Mets will be…

World Champions, thanks to greatest rotation to ever take a mound!

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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