Terry Collins wants the Mets to embrace expectations in 2017
By JT. Teran
The Mets have been to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2000, and the expectations are there to extend the streak to three straight years in 2017.
Mets manager Terry Collins spoke with The New York Post on Monday, and expressed his confidence in what the team can do, and why he believes another postseason birth should be expected.
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“It all starts with great pitching and we have that,” Collins said. With starters like Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz, it’s hard to disagree. Add to that the return of Zack Wheeler and upcoming talent Robert Gsellman, and you could argue the Mets could have the best rotation in baseball this year.
Collins also noted that even though the last two years have been playoff years for the Amazin’s, 2015 and 2016 could not have been more different.
"“Last year we showed so much character. Two years ago everything went our way. Last year we had to make it go our way. We’ve got some big pieces. You’ve got to say we’re a playoff team again. I want us to grasp those expectations that are in front of us, and run with them.”"
That attitude that Collins is expressing is the exact attitude that a team from New York should have. It’s not necessarily swagger, or cockiness, but it’s confidence based on actual facts.
The Mets were decimated by injuries and still earned the top Wild Card spot last year. That was no easy task, and it should be used as inspiration in 2017.
“I think this could be our most exciting year,” remarked Collins.
Terry isn’t blind to the fact that health will be important though, obviously.
"“I just hope we don’t lose guys for three months. I told [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] the other day, wouldn’t it be exciting to see the [top four] guys go out and make 30 starts? We have the potential to have a Cy Young winner on this staff.”"
That would be a dream come true, to be honest, and although it seems unlikely, weirder things have happened in baseball over the years, so you never know.
Collins also wants the offense to be more versatile than last year’s, and is looking at the Chicago Cubs as a prime example of that.
“The Cubs showed the value of athleticism,” Collins pointed out, adding that Jose Reyes will be a key piece this year. “With Jose backing up that infield, you can give anybody a day off and not miss a beat, that’s important.”
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Reyes will reportedly also get some reps in the outfield this spring, specifically in center, so it’s possible he becomes one of those type of players that you can plug in wherever is needed in 2017.
Rumors also have Michael Conforto possibly getting some time at first base, so he could also be used in multiple spots when needed.
Spring Training is only a few weeks away with pitchers and catchers reporting in just 12 days, and it looks like manager Terry Collins as just as excited as the rest of us are. If you’re somehow not already hyped about the Mets this season, you better start getting there as soon as possible.