The Blue Jays kick off interleague play tonight against the Mets at Rogers Centre, so I recently completed a Q+A with Vinny Cartiglia of the great Mets site MetsBlog as a series primer. You can find my answers over there, and be sure to follow Vinny on Twitter (@VinnyCartiglia) as you check out the questions below.
Jared Macdonald: David Wright has been on fire. He has always been good, but what do you feel is the biggest difference this season from his career-worst campaign last year?
Vinny Cartaglia: I don’t think it’s one specific thing for Wright. Some believe its the dimension changes at Citi Field. You can point to the slight changes he has made in his stance; which allow him to get his hands through the hitting zone much quicker. But, the bottom line is, he’s a pretty awesome baseball player who is entering his prime. And so, we are finally seeing Wright become the superstar we envisioned he would be.
JM: The Mets’ bullpen, which includes 2011 Blue Jays Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch, was called “a frustration” by GM Sandy Alderson last night. What do you think needs to happen to get it back on course?
VC: Short answer. They need to pitch better. And, Sandy’s right. It has been frustrating to watch. To blow two games in the bottom of the ninth to a division foe can definitely be described as frustrating. With the team playing well they can not afford to blow games in the late innings. And so, if it continues I am sure roles will get shuffled in the late innings. With the Mets adding a second lefty to the pen, they could turn to a combo of Rauch Francisco, and LH Tim Byrdak for the 7th and 8th innings and letting Bobby Parnell take a crack at closing. It’s still only May. And both Rauch and Francisco have shown stretches that they can get the job done. Maybe, what they (Rauch and Francisco) need is to get their confidence back in order to get on track.
JM: How nice has it been to have Johan Santana back in the rotation?
VC: I was one of the more pessimistic fans on Santana. I never would have imagined that he would not only be on the mound, but pitching as well as he is. It’s just a shame that the team can’t win any games for him. Which has been the story during his Mets tenure. If he had any luck he could easily be 4-2 or 5-1 instead of 1-2. But to watch him on the mound has been great. He’s such a presence and a leader in the locker room. Whenever he toes the rubber, as a fan, you have confidence the team will win that night.
Stoeten over at DJF also did a Q&A with SNY.tv’s Ted Berg, so make sure to check that out as well: