This morning, Mets GM Omar Minaya appeared as a guest on WFAN’s Boomer and Carton Show, which you can listen to live, every morning, from 6 am to 10 am, on WFAN.com.
When asked about Manny Ramirez, Minaya told WFAN, ‘I think I’ve been pretty clear… This is the team we’re going with, I think we’ve made improvements and I look forward to spring training.”
Minaya acknowledged that the bottom of his batting order is ‘light,’ but he is still looking to pick up a few players on minor-league deals, including acquiring a right-handed bat.
He sees Brian Schneider as his starting catcher – and, ‘right now,’ a platoon of Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy in left field, adding, ‘today, of course, things can change as we go in to spring training.’
Minaya says he likes Murphy a lot, he likes his intensity, he likes how he hits with two strikes, saying the intensity he brings is what this team needs.
Minaya says he likes a mix of veterans and young players – he always likes to bring along one or two minor leaguers through the season.
Ryan Church is healthy, Minaya said, after having checked in with him, team trainers and doctors. Church will be important this season, according to Minaya, because they need his defense, noting Citi Field will require a center field-type defender in right field.
Minaya watched Luis Castillo in the Dominican Republic last week, where he’s working out every day at the team’s facility. Minaya told Castillo he needs to perform, he’s been a good player for 10 years, ‘but the bottom line is he has to perform and he knows that.’
Jerry Manuel and the coaching staff have also been in contact with Castillo. Minaya and Manuel have told Castillo, ‘The fans will keep an eye on you, and you have to overcome that.’
Minaya says it takes a mental toughness to succeed in New York, and Castillo will need to rise to that – in fact, this is one of the reasons he wanted to bring Oliver Perez back, ‘because, so far, Oliver Perez has shown he can handle New York.’
Francisco Rodriguez could handle the pressure in Winter Ball, which is worse than New York, Minaya says, ‘Here, you blow a save and they just talk about it, there if you blow a save your life may be on the line.”
The reality, he explains, is that every pitching staff on every team is a ‘leap of faith,’ because of health. However, he pointed out, the average age of his staff is 27 years old.
To listen to this entire 20–minute interview, go to WFAN.com.