It's me again. After 14 seasons as a Mets beat reporter, for the Daily News and then ESPN, I joined the New York Institute of Technology in February as its assistant athletic director for strategic communications, promoting the Old Westbury school's Division I baseball team as well as a dozen other sports competing at the Division II level.
The job involves pitching stories to media about the program, plus ensuring the school's athletics website -- NYITBears.com --and social media have solid content.
Still, when SNY graciously asked if I would be interested in contributing to its website on a part-time basis, I couldn't resist. I will be providing analysis pieces about the Mets, as well as popular staples from my days as a beat reporter, including the "Farm Report," which contains a feature and notes about Mets minor leaguers. We plan to launch our weekly minor-league content next Wednesday and continue it for the duration of the season.
Thank you to SNY's Fred Harner and Matthew Cerrone for making this happen.
Apr 3, 2017; Syndergaard reacts after escaping the sixth inning. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
As Monday's 6-0 win against the Braves on Opening Day further underscored, this is an exciting time to cover the Mets in any capacity. Noah Syndergaard tossed six scoreless innings before a blood blister forced him to depart, and four pitchers ultimately combined for a seven-hit shutout at Citi Field. Even with the news that Seth Lugo requires a second opinion of a potentially ominous elbow issue, and with Steven Matz disclosing he actually is dealing with a strained flexor tendon, the Mets obviously boast among the strongest rotations in the game.
No one will quibble with a starting staff of Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman. But, the Mets also are well-positioned to withstand a 15-game suspension to Jeurys Familia thanks to having Addison Reed available to slide into the closer's role-and with Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins back to provide late-inning relief.
Gsellman (65) delivers a pitch at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
And if Opening Day is any indication, some of the major question marks on the hitting side could resolve themselves favorably. Jay Bruce and Lucas Duda combined for one hit, four walks and four RBIs as the Mets went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Opening Day. Remember, the Mets hit an MLB-worst .225 with runners in scoring position a year ago.
There inevitably will be ups and downs this season, and the Washington Nationals pose a serious threat, but Terry Collins ought to become the first manager in Mets history to lead the franchise to three consecutive postseasons. And I'm excited to still be bringing you coverage of that pursuit, at least on a part-time basis, with SNY and MetsBlog.com.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.