Hey all. Steve here. 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!
Here is how our brief chat went:
Steve: Hey Adam! Thanks so much for taking a few minutes out of your hectic schedule to answer a few questions about the Mets! Let’s get right into it – How much do you think the changing National League landscape is going to impact the Mets playoff chances in 2015 and beyond?
Adam Rubin: With respect to the division, the Braves certainly have taken a temporary step backward, opening the door for the Mets and Marlins to be the primary challengers to the Nationals in the NL East. Still, regardless of whether Washington trades a starting pitcher, neither the Mets nor Miami is ready to unseat the Nats. And I’d say that even absent the Max Scherzer signing by Washington. The Mets, at best, are a wild-card contender in 2015.
Steve: What do you make of an owner that seems to struggle with his own teams financials being appointed by MLB in a financial role?
Adam Rubin: New commissioner Rob Manfred made the point in The New York Times on Sunday that the role primarily deals with executive compensation and budgeting. It’s more about the optics of the appointment than anything substantive.
Steve: Does the SS position really really belong to Wilmer Flores or will there be some kind of competition with Ruben Tejada?
Adam Rubin: Barring something unforeseen, Wilmer Flores will be the Opening Day shortstop. The Mets have told me that Tejada’s primary playing time would come when Jon Niese is pitching, since he’s the one person on the staff who coaxes the most groundballs.
Steve: Same question, but with the closer role – Jenrry Mejia have the job or will Parnell be his competition?
Adam Rubin: Parnell should open the season on the DL, so there’s no real initial question. Terry Collins has said Parnell should assume the role when he’s activated, which probably will be within a few weeks of the start of the season. Still, I’m sure they’ll ease Parnell back into that role, so Mejia (and potentially Familia or Black) should get opportunities as well.
Steve: I’d like to ask you about a recent article from Bleacher Report that names the Mets as one of MLB’s most deadly lineups. Do you agree with their assessment? If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out – MLB’s Most Deadly Lineups 1 Month from Spring Training
Adam Rubin: I didn’t read that article, but that’s a fairly generous assessment.
Steve: I need to know if I should draft him with a late round pick in fantasy this year, so when do you think Noah will make his MLB debut?
Adam Rubin: If there’s no injury at the major league level, Syndergaard’s exposure to the majors this season may be spelling Matt Harvey, when the Mets skip Harvey starts to conserve his innings. And, right now, the Mets still need to trade Dillon Gee – otherwise they already have six established starters entering spring training.
Steve: Michael Cuddyer recently said that the Mets can hang with the Nats this year. He has to say stuff like that, but can the Mets be that team in 2015 that shocks the baseball world and wins the NL East or is this another 3rd place finish behind the Nats and the improved Marlins?
Adam Rubin: Anything is possible, but I expect 83-85 wins and wild-card contender.
Steve: What do you make of Sandy Alderson and his continued attempts at a stand-up routine when it comes to moves he makes (and mostly doesn’t make)?
Adam Rubin: That’s his personality. He probably should realize that a good portion of the fan base reacts negatively, but he’s not changing.
Steve: Put a percentage on the following scenario happening and let us know why you feel that way – 2016 – Murphy is traded, Flores moves to 2nd and the Mets land Ian Desmond in free agency.
Adam Rubin: Not good.
Steve: Just about a few days away from Spring Training, your prediction for the number of Mets victories is…
Adam Rubin: 83-85.
Steve: Thanks, Adam! Once again I appreciate you taking the time to talk and I hope to talk to you soon!