By: Michael Ganci

Mets Knuckleballer Mickey Jannis: I Can Pitch out of the Bullpen


When you think of the Mets and a knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey is undoubtedly the first guy that comes to your mind.

Not only did Dickey come out of nowhere to be an ace, but he was traded three years ago in what was a downright steal for the Mets. In return for Dickey, they got Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck and Wuilmer Becerra.

Now, the Mets have another knuckleballer in the form of Mickey Jannis. The former Long Island Duck is trying to make his way to the big leagues, and he recently took some time to talk to the Daily Stache about his career, his apirations and the Mets in general.

Here’s a look:

Daily Stache: Tell me how you ended up on the Mets. What’s it like to be part of this organization?

I was drafted by the Rays in 2010 and was released in 2011. I played independent baseball for the past 3.5 seasons and was signed by them on July 3 of this year. They are a great organization to be a part of and really try to develops their players throughout the minors. Great coaching staffs all the way around the system.

DS: You have been in many places playing many different levels of baseball. How hard is it to do that? How do you stay motivated?

I enjoy playing baseball no matter where I am. I take pride in playing hard and trying to improve myself everyday no matter what level I’m at. Staying motivated hasn’t been a difficult thing for me because I just love the competition and the chess match that comes with the game. It’s a thinking man’s sport and I love it.

DS: Tell me about the knuckleball. Why do you feature it? Is there a story behind that?

I’ve thrown the Knuckleball ever since I was about 12 years old. Started to throw it mainly after I got released by the Rays as a way to stick out from the average right handed pitcher in independent ball.

DS: Do you look up to guys like Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey? Are they inspirations to you?

I think everyone looks up to those guys because what they do is so unique and everyone loves to fool around with a Knuckleball. However, not many can do it. I throw a little harder version so I’ve always liked and watched Dickey even before he was with the Mets. And of course Wakefield growing up was the main guy that I watched.

DS: The Mets biggest need is in their bullpen. How do your skills translate into a reliever role? Is that something you think you can do? Why or why not?

I’ve actually been more of a bullpen guy my entire life. I don’t see that being a problem. This session in independent ball I threw out of the bullpen in between starts as kind of a tune up before my next start. I think that helped me develops even better and makes me more versatile going forward. I actually enjoy throwing out of the bullpen and the thrill about possibly pitching in every game.

DS: Tell me something about you not many people know. Do you have a hidden talent? Tell us more.

I wouldn’t say I have any hidden talents but my teammates are always amazed at how flexible I am. Kinda like a yoga master haha.

DS: What did you think of the Mets World Series run? Do you think they have another one in them?

What the Mets did this season was so much fun to watch. I didn’t have any connection to the Mets before this year but was fortunate enough to play with 4 or 5 of the big league guys when they were rehabbing in the minors and that was a great experience to so made me want them to win even more. And with that young pitching staff, as long as they stay healthy they have a chance to be really good for a long time.

DS: What’s your favorite thing about New York?

I love New York. The best thing is that there is always something new to check out. There is so much in that city that you can always find something or some place that you’ve never been before.

DS: Finish this sentence. At the end of the 2016 season, the New York Mets will…

Be World Series Champs!

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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