I was lucky to chat for a bit with Nelson Figueroa on Monday night, not only about the amazing organization he supports, but also to talk a little Mets.
With Ron Darling stating that the Mets’ starting rotation is going to have a historic season, how could you meet another former Mets pitcher and not ask him if he agrees?
Well, I couldn’t resist myself, so obviously I had to ask. Figueroa didn’t entirely agree with Darling, but he didn’t really shoot down anything either.
He did bring up a great point regarding this rotation’s juxtaposition to the ’88 team’s.
"“Darling kind of went all in and you can see where he’s going with [that statement]. My only thing for it to be a historic year, something like the ’88 team that he talked about — remember they averaged 240 innings each…I think Dwight Gooden had 10 or 12 complete games that year. These guys don’t have 10 or 12 complete games among them in any level of pro ball.”“For me, I’m dialing it down just a little bit.”"
Well, none of us can argue with that, can we? Of course, you can’t talk about the Mets’ current starting rotation without talking injuries.
"“What used to be career ending and career threatening [surgeries] are now career beginning.”"
Well, there’s the hope we need. Thanks, Figueroa. He then proceeded to get into each player individually.
"“You’ll see Matz pitching without thinking about his elbow. Syndergaard has worked through his elbow issues. Matt Harvey — his confidence was down last year but you know it was because he couldn’t feel the ball… so I look for big things from Harvey. DeGrom was a tune up and I think Wheeler — that’s the X factor.”"
Once again, all makes sense.
After chatting about the rotation for a bit, the elephant in the room came up as it usually does — Jay Bruce. And Figueroa, well, he’s holding onto Bruce.
What goes hand in hand in conversations about Bruce staying on the Mets? The effect that’ll have on Conforto. Figueroa did acknowledge this, stating that he loves Conforto and he does believe that he’s “going to be a superstar but he did struggle minorly last year,” whereas Bruce has proven himself over the past six years.