Earlier this year, the Daily Stache debuted a series called #9innings, which you can access by clicking here. It’s a series of questions and answers in which we talk to some people with a little more access to the Mets to get a closer feel on the pulse of the team.
Today’s guest is Chris Carlin, who handles pre and post-game duties with Nelson Figueroa on SNY. He’s also been featured on Loudmouths, Beer Money and more.
Daily Stache: What do you make of the season the Mets have had thus far? Who’s surprised you?
Chris Carlin: No question they’ve been impressive. I expected them to be in the race, but I can’t say I expected a 5 game lead as we approach the end of August.
Was the Carlos Gomez trade falling apart a blessing in disguise since it inevitably led to their getting Yoenis Cespedes?
I felt Cespedes was the way to go from the beginning, so I don’t think there’s any question, considering how much he has contributed. They needed that bat that the opposition feared, and Cespedes is that.
What about the minor moves the Mets have made? What do you think of the Uribe, Johnson, Clippard and now O’Flaherty acquisitions?
I love the moves for Uribe and Johnson, considering those are the kind of guys who make the difference come September and the postseason. You look at Uribe’s history, and he’s been very clutch in the playoffs before. Johnson is versatile and a pro. Clippard is a perfect setup guy. I have to say, before the moves, I was a bit skeptical when Sandy Alderson would talk about flexibility, but you see what he was talking about with these guys and it’s paying off.
Who’s built better for the stretch run, the Mets or Nationals? What do you think of Jayson Werth’s comments about the division to be theirs for the taking?
Well, Werth is technically incorrect – it’s the Mets division to lose, since they are the ones in first place, albeit by a mere game and a half.
Werth’s never been afraid to speak his mind. I’m sure he was just trying to motivate his teammates a bit. With what has happened in Washington this year, I’m not sure how I can feel better about the Nats.
Do you expect anything out of David Wright? Can he provide even more help in the lineup?
I think David is going to help. With his return, it’s going to be a boost. Mentally, to see him back out there will lift everyone else. The good news is that he doesn’t have to come back and feel the pressure of being the savior; rather, he can just ease his way back in, not have to play everyday to start, and get ready for September and October.
Has Jenrry Mejia thrown his last pitch as a Met? What does his future hold?
I don’t think there’s any question he’s done with the Mets. There’s no point in bringing him back. I loved what Michael Cuddyer said when Mejia was suspended again – “It’s not a mistake, it’s a choice.”
Who’s the Mets’ team MVP to this point of the season? Who’s their LVP?
I think Curtis Granderson is the MVP. It’s been good to see him get back to being a .260 hitter, as opposed to .220-.230. The power has been there, he’s hitting .300 with RISP. I’d argue Mejia has been their LVP. For someone they were counting on heavily in the pen back in the spring, he really let them down.
What do you think of the job Terry Collins has done? What about Dan Warthen and Kevin Long?
I think Terry has done a very good job. They were inconsistent in the first half at times, and he’s had a steadying influence on them. With a full complement of players, you see what he’s capable of. Long has clearly had an impact on Granderson to be sure, at the very least, but they’ve got more pieces now. I’ve always thought Dan Warthen was an excellent pitching coach.
Lastly, finish this sentence. By the end of the regular season, the Mets will be…
Preparing for the postseason.