Zack Wheeler on going from AA to AA:
“The strike zone got a little bit smaller. I wasn’t really expecting that, but it did. The higher you go, the smaller it’s going to get. You just have to adjust. I think hitters, they chase more down to up, instead of side to side. Like with the slider, they don’t chase that sweeping slider. You just can’t make mistakes. That’s really what I learned.”
We’ve talked about this so many times and it’s the chief reason why you see great A and A+ level pitchers simply disappear after a year either in Binghamton or, in the past, Buffalo. You have to have the ability to not only pound the zone, but also work the corners. Past that, most of your balls thrown outside the zone will not be swung at.
Wheeler is in camp, throwing next to Harvey. Life is good.
John Buck on Matt Harvey:
"My focus with him is to hone … what he needs to be effective as a power pitcher. If you get up there as a power pitcher and just aimlessly throw pitches, sometimes, as a hitter, you can wait on that. But if he uses his stuff effectively in those power situations, then you’re not only being a power pitcher, you’re keeping the hitters off-balance. I think one of the things that made me attractive in the trade for the Mets was that I am known as a game-caller. I’m a little bit older and I have experience. We have pitchers who are right at the cusp of success, so I think it’s a perfect situation for me to help bring the most out of them. Those guys aren’t even throwing hard yet and the ball jumps. It’s fun to have those tools at my disposal.’’
I really like this Buck guy…
It’s an honor and pleasure to announce that former New York Mets pitcher Brant Rustich has joined Mack’s Mets as a contributor. Brant has been a long time friend since my first ‘camp’ when I went on the beat for Morris Communications. The 6-6, 220 righty was a 2007 2nd round pick out of UCLA that basically never had a bad season. His combined career stats were: 7-6, 3.00, 1.18, 135.0-IP, 128-K, 46-BB, and the only reason he not the Mets 8th inning guy right now is all about his hand, numbness, bad advice, worse diagnosis and… well, it’s a story for him to tell which frankly is good enough for a book (which it just might wind up being).
For now, baseball’s loss is Mack’s Mets gain and you have no idea how happy I am that he’s with us.
Ed Ryan wrote:
“The real misstep this off-season was the outfield, I have a hard time believing that the plan was to pursue Bourn all along and really if they do land Bourn, then they had a solid off-season taking into consideration they're still building this organization. I think they misread the market and Bourn is now their scramble to recover. Either they thought players prices would come back to them or they thought they could land a trade that never materialized. Without Bourn it was a disappointing off-season but if they land him I believe it's a big step toward changing the perception about the Mets...”
Ed could be 100% correct here but we’ll never know. It doesn’t matter how much you want or don’t want a Scott Boras client. Boras will also slow the process down and also use your excitement and desire against you. No, baseball is now a business and all this cloak and dagger, smoke and mirror shit is part of the game.