Hey all. Steve here. Once again, I had the great opportunity to sit down for a short chat with Adam Rubin. Adam covers the Mets for ESPN and is a great source of Mets information. You can follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook Fan Page!
Steve: (From Steve in South Florida) Why do we have Grandy leading off when he’s a proven RBI guy. I understand he is batting leadoff only once (to leadoff the game) but if Lagares bats leadoff, gets on, Grandy has the pop to drive him in. He will also see more fastballs with Lagares being a SB threat and DUDA behind him.
Adam Rubin: The Mets do not have a bona fide leadoff hitter, so Terry Collins has determined Curtis Granderon is the best fit. Juan Lagares was the alternative, but he is not getting on base enough and has been dropped from the No. 2 hole.
Steve: (From Steve in South Florida) With the influx of young infielders we have that can play second base, why do we continue to play Murphy at 2nd with David Wright out? He is clearly our best option at 3rd.
Adam Rubin: Sandy Alderson on Monday allowed for the possibility that when Dilson Herrera returns from the disabled list in a couple of weeks that Daniel Murphy may move to third base at that point.
Steve: (From Keith in South Florida) When it comes to Matt Harvey’s “dead arm”, is it normal for someone who has gone through Tommy John surgery to experience?
Adam Rubin: Adam Wainwright had a full run higher ERA his first year back from Tommy John surgery compared with his second year back. That Matt Harvey’s velocity and command most has returned so quickly is a feat. All pitchers hit walls at points during the season.
Steve: (From Keith in South Florida) Jacob deGrom pitched so well the other night against the Phillies – are his hip issues really something to worry about moving forward?
Adam Rubin: DeGrom has been dominant. I know he slipped in San Diego delivering a pitch and people were concerned as he walked gingerly off the mound, but deGrom indicated there was nothing alarming.
Steve: Do you think the Mets really are concerned long term for David Wright?
Adam Rubin: I’m sure they are somewhat concerned. While David Wright is adamant he will return this season “sooner than later,” there’s enough ambiguity about how his back will respond that they just cannot know with precision the impact on his career.
Steve: (From Keith in South Florida) Are there any trade rumors out there involving the Mets that actually hold any weight?
Adam Rubin: I’m sure they will investigate options as far as a versatile player such as Ben Zobrist, but trades typically happen a lot closer to July 31, if they will happen at all.
Steve: Which players from the Mets get your vote for the All-Star game?
Adam Rubin: Position-player-wise, Lucas Duda is the only one who merits consideration. And first base is typically a very difficult position because of the offensive numbers that get put up there. So I think it should be Jeurys Familia and one or more starters from Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey.
Steve: (From Nick in NY) Forget everyone else, what does Adam Rubin think about the 6 man rotation?
Adam Rubin: I don’t like diluting the starts of the top pitchers. I understand innings caps, but that didn’t seem to prevent the Tommy John surgeries for Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. I’m not advocating abusing the pitchers, but I feel they should just let them pitch.
Steve: From the vault of “this is why we play the games on the field and not on paper”, the Mets have surprised some people and the Marlins, well they have been the Marlins. For you, which team in baseball has been the biggest surprise and which has been the biggest disappointment and why?
Adam Rubin: Certainly the Astros’ reversal of fortunes so quickly comes as a little bit of a positive surprise. The Marlins have been the biggest disappointment. They should get Jose Fernandez back in a few weeks and have too much talent, so I still think they’ll make a U-turn. But they probably have dug too big of a hole.
Steve: Now, putting the Mets under the microscope, which player has been the biggest surprise and which has been the biggest disappointment and why?
Adam Rubin: I think Jon Niese’s performance has been a major disappointment, with Juan Lagares not taking a step forward offensively meriting honorable mention. I suppose you can say Wilmer Flores’ shortstop play has been a positive surprise, but I still think he’s better suited for another infield position.
Steve: When we last spoke in March, you predicted 83-85 wins and a wild card contender for the Mets. Has that changed at all? What are your thoughts now?
Adam Rubin: I think my ultimate prediction was 84-78. I still think they’ll finish right around there – above .500, but just shy of a wild-card spot.
Steve: What has been the best movie you have seen this year and what movie are you most looking forward to in 2015?
Adam Rubin: Once I go down to Florida for spring training in early February, it’s nonstop baseball, so I don’t believe I’ve seen a movie this year.
Steve: NBA Finals – who wins and in how many games?
Adam Rubin: I don’t think I’ve seen a minute of an NBA game this entire season, but Newsday’s Marc Carig is a Warriors fan, so I’ll say Golden State in six.
Steve: Adam, thanks so much again for taking some time out to answer some questions from us at CineSportsTalk and fans of yours, ours and the Mets! We look forward to speaking with you again soon!