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1495 Sports Mets Manager Chat

Terry Collins. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

1495 Sports was on hand through the Examiner.com site for the June 4, 2012 Terry Collins pre-game press conference, and the skipper went into depth on various topics with members of the New York Media.

Here is the first edition of the Manager Chat, as Collins was candid on many subjects including the success of the rookies within the team and much-much more.

*On if Jeremy Hefner will start on Wednesday:

“There is a chance, it hasn’t been decided yet. Some of it has to do with weather today, if we get rained out we have to push a lot of the guys back and you will have some adjustments that you have to make.”

On calling up starter Chris Young, who will start Mets for start against Nationals on Tuesday to give Johan Santana the extra day of rest:

“When he went to Triple A he thought he was ready to go there and the other day he said that ‘I was ready’ and it can only continue to get better. We thought now was the time to bring him up and let him pitch.”

*On how things were decided with the starting rotation

“We had toyed with the idea of giving Dillon (Gee) the extra day but I wanted Miguel Batista to back up Chris Young. With the way things have fallen into place, I thought it’d be a good mix to have Batista and Young to pitch on the same day.”

“In trying to juggle the way things have been going this week he is pretty much on line and he said that he is ready to pitch today. I can’t tell you how many meetings we’ve had trying to get this thing worked out especially in trying to do what is right for Johan.”

*Expectation of what they are going to get out of Young:

“He is going 90 pitches; we know that he can go that deep. We are even thinking of 80-85 pitches depending on how it goes.”

*What he saw from the Mets that other people overlooked:

“As I sat down this winter and put together our line-up, I looked at it and thought-Andres Torres has played in the World Series he knows how to win he brings some speed to the line-up. We have David (Wright) in the middle, we had Ike Davis coming back-which was like going out there and making a pretty good deal.”

“At the end of the year I thought Jason Bay was swinging the bat better, we had a chance to look at Duda, he has that huge power upside. We thought we had some power in the middle of our line-up. We all knew that if Johan could come back that it’d be a front line rotation guy to add to our roster. So when I looked down at that line-up I said there is nothing wrong with this team. I thought that if we could go out there and pitched to our capabilities that we can compete and that is what we have shown so far.”

*Kirk Nieuwenhuis adjusting in game during his at-bats:

“I’ve seen it a lot to be honest, especially to the younger guys. The benefit of being an everyday player is that you have four at-bats to make adjustments, if you have the intellect to be able to make those adjustments in those two last at-bats you can be dangerous and that is what Kirk has done in his time here.”

“Some of these guys he has never seen before, this is his first time seeing guys and you know at this level there are times there are going to be uncomfortable at-bats, but if you are up there enough times you can make adjustments.”

“That is why it is so hard for a younger player to come off the bench, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis just continues to grind it out during the games, he fights it off and he is able to make those adjustments in the game. His background is that when the game starts he is going to battle you with every at-bat.”

*How surprised he has been with the success of the call-ups thus far:

“I am going to give all the credit to Sandy Alderson and the rest of the staff; they are the ones who found us these pieces. They went out and got us Mike Baxter last year and he played briefly up here and no one knew what to expect and he has saved us for the most part.”

“We saw Omar Quintanilla in Spring Training and we knew he could catch the ball, and we knew we had insurance in the shortstop position. Those are the guys who are going to give us insurance down the road, and it has come true-we have needed all of these guys.”

“Who knows what we are going to need as the season goes forward, but they (Alderson and company) have done a great job in finding those pieces that have helped.”

*Surprised about the success considering that these weren’t big time prospects:

“We went into Spring Training with Kirk Nieuwenhuis not making this club, he has had ups and downs-when Andres went down opening day he was a candidate to play center field…we knew he could play there. To come up here and do the job that he has done without having a number of Triple A at-bats is truly amazing.”

“That is just one of the stories, there are a bunch of other guys who have gone down they have worked hard and came back up and helped us out tremendously. It has been one guy after another who has stepped-up and helped.”

“One of the things that we try to do that I think has really helped is that when the guys step out of their car and come here to Citi Field, they know that they are going to have a chance to contribute to the game. The fact that they are playing and that they believe that they can succeed has helped.”

*Josh Thole stepping up:

“Josh walked in and asked me and the staff what he can do to improve on his game, and we told him we wanted you to work on the game calling and blocking the balls in the dirt and keeping the balls in front of you. He walked out of the room that day and said that he was going to get it done-and he has.”

“He has improved immensely defensively, his game calling as we’ve seen in the past two to three nights have been tremendous, his game preparation is there-he is a completely different guy versus what we had seen a year ago.”

*What the plans are when Bay returns will there be a set outfield or mix things up:

“We are going to get a little creative but we are also lucky this week in that we have six games with the designated hitter so we’ll be able to get a lot of our guys into those games.”

*When he was the field coordinator was there changes that he was able to make that he can now reflect upon as a success:

“I learned a real valuable lesson when I first came to the Major Leagues and watched the game and saw what it took to be successful here. When I was in Triple A all you ever saw was doing what it took to be successful at that level, not at the big leagues.”

“The one thing that I implemented was that it is not about what it takes to be successful in the Minor League level, but what it takes to be successful in the big leagues. That starts at the lowest level, for me it was about making a player learn their strengths first-let us not worry about other things until you perfect your strengths.”

“On the offensive side it is important to learn how to be a good hitter first, let us learn how to take a good approach at the plate, let us use the field to hit and when you get up here experience and learning will take over. All those conversations that you have with all the hitters will help you, so it is essential that you learn how to be a good hitter first.”

Mets fans are encouraged to check back later for the full story recap as the finale for the New York/St. Louis series is currently underway.

Also seen on Examiner.com below:

http://www.examiner.com/article/examiner-com-mets-manager-chat

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