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NEW YORK (WFAN) – After spending Wednesday and Thursday at Yankees camp in Tampa, Mike Francesa headed to Port St. Lucie on Friday to attend Mets camp.
Day 1 at Port St. Lucie kicked off with second baseman Daniel Murphy. General manager Sandy Alderson and starting pitcher Matt Harvey followed. Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, David Wright, Terry Collins and Travis d’Arnaud were present as well.
Listen to all the exclusive audio below.
Francesa will be in Port St. Lucie on Saturday to round out his stay at Mets camp.
On what a good Daniel Murphy year is now: “I still think there’s definitely room for improvement. (I want to hit for) more power. I don’t think it matters what the number is. I want to drive in runs. I think there’s power in there — I’m not a small guy — and I think I can get on base more. That’s the biggest thing. Getting on base creates runs … For me, if I had to pick (one thing to improve upon) it would be on-base percentage. I want to jack up the on-base percentage.”
On the ability of catcher Travis D’Arnaud: “We’ve liked what we’ve seen. He’s swung the bat very well the last couple of games and he seems to be getting more and more comfortable. There is clearly a lot of talent by any objective measure. But you’re always happy to see it confirmed. I don’t think there’s been any downside. I think he was a little anxious at the plate the first couple of games, but everything has been very positive with him.”
On his confidence and veteran-like demeanor: “I think I learned that from my dad. He’s a pretty serious guy, and when it comes to baseball, especially. You do things the right way, you play hard and you be a leader — you don’t be a follower on the field. I’ve always wanted to be like that and I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues, and now my next goal is to be the best.”
On what it means to be a front-of-the-rotation guy: “It means a lot. I really appreciate the confidence that (Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins) have in me, and obviously I want to do my best to get the job done … Regardless of how many innings I get this year, each time I go out there I want to give the team a chance to win, and that’s my main goal. Those numbers will take care of themselves, the wins and losses.”
On whether he’s ready to pitch in the majors every fifth day: “Yeah, I think I could. I still have to refine some things — the command, a little bit, on my fastball. I think I really could pitch in the big leagues right now, though. (If they brought me north) I’d be ready to go, definitely.”
On where this team is headed and the future: “We have the pieces, there’s no question that we have the pieces. It’s just a matter of getting, especially these young guys, to reach that potential, to keep working, to make sure that they see some of these guys that have been here for awhile and the work that they put in. (They need to) try to mimic that and start getting that winning attitude. I really think that when you have a little taste of winning, it gets addicting.”
On the outfield situation: “Well, so far, there’s a couple pieces that have got to fall into place. No. 1, we’ve got to get Lucas Duda back. The wrist thing is getting better and he’s done a lot of extra batting practice. As we tried to tell him the other day, ‘Hey, look, this should be batting practice right now and you’re trying to take this into games.’ Be patient. I believe in (Duda). I’ve seen it. You wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t see it at the major-league level.”
On what it feels like to have already been traded for two Cy Young Award winners: “I feel honored to even be considered for two great pitchers like Roy Halladay and R.A. Dickey. Fortunately for me, it was a pretty easy transition with both teams. They were straightforward and told me exactly what they wanted, and they were just really excited.”
Are you ready for the start of the season, Mets fans?! Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…