Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland wants Noah Syndergaard to own the inside part of the plate this season. Recently, Eiland and Mets manager Mickey Callaway sat down with SNY's Nelson Figueroa to discuss the philosophy of pitching inside.
"It's very important," Eiland said. "You have to command the fastball to both sides of the plate, and most importantly you have to command the ball inside off the plate. You're gonna come in there for strikes at times, but hitters have to know that you're gonna come in there off the plate deep. For effect, a lot of times that can really open up down-and-away."
Eiland added that pitching inside needs to be done in order to combat guys diving over the plate, fouling pitches off, and having long at-bats.
"If they were to come in off the plate early in the count, you wouldn't get that deep in the count," Eiland explained.
And Syndergaard is all about pitching inside.
"One of my attributes I use in pitching is being able to establish the inside part of the plate," Syndergaard told SNY in late-February. "That's something he (Eiland) advocates quite a bit. Just listening to him talk about throwing inside kind of just fires him up, which fires me up on the inside as well."
Callaway, who will likely push the Mets to throw more offspeed pitches this season, said coming inside gives the pitcher another dynamic.
"It just gives that pitcher another dynamic that they can go to, especially when they don't have their best stuff that day," Callaway said. "When you don't have your best stuff, you have to pitch inside even more for effect -- like Dave said -- so you get away with those hanging breaking balls and the pitches that you don't quite get away."
"If you're pitching down-and-away, showing them off the plate up-and-in, going back down-and-away, you get away with that mistake and it's a pop-up instead of a homer," Callaway concluded.
As far as batters who wear body armor to the plate, Callaway and Eiland aren't fans.
"Not at all," Eiland said. "I'm a fan of trying to crack it."