February 12, 2007

Recipt For Peterson's Success

Kevin Kernan at the NY Post writes about Rick Peterson and how he thinks the rotation will shape up:

"As much as everyone questions our staff, I believe we're in a much better position this year than we were last year at this time," Peterson told me yesterday. "We have a pretty good recipe. And we're going to have com petition, which is always a great motivator.

"Hopefully, we'll turn out some good meals."

Chef Peterson said the in gredients for success are there - most importantly, strong, young arms. Arms like those of top prospects Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber and John Maine and Oliver Perez. Maine and Perez both came up big in the postseason last year after being acquired by Omar Minaya.

Peterson is not afraid to try different approaches in his development of pitchers. Don't be surprised if you sometimes see Mets pitchers wearing little white earphones as they work out during their bullpen sessions.

Pitching is rhythm and Peterson encourages his pitchers to sometimes listen to their iPods during those sessions. Soon after Perez came aboard last year, Peterson had a conversation with him that went something like this:

"Do you like to dance?" Peterson asked.

"Yes," Perez answered.

"Well, right now you are doing the waltz, you need to be doing the merengue," Peterson explained.

Perez listened and steadily improved. Peterson expects both Perez and Maine to continue to progress because they have taken to the drills and the structure he has developed through the years with the Athletics and Mets, and they are self-motivated and self-disciplined.

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