Brender: You were invited to big league Spring Training last year and wound up getting hurt at the tail end of camp. Talk about how difficult that experience was.
Mazzoni: Yeah, just getting injured last year is tough, especially the timing. Getting ready to head out to Vegas and get hurt on the last day and get set back two months. But, I can’t really dwell on that. Still have to have a productive season and keep my mind straight. It was tough but I’m just glad to be back and just looking forward to having a healthy year.
Brender: Do you feel like coming into camp this year that you have to play catch up in any way?
Mazzoni: Not really. The main thing I’m worried about right now is I’m just trying to get ready for this season. That’s all I’m worried about, just staying healthy. My arm feels good. My body feels good. That’s all I’m really worried about right now.
Brender: You wind up spending about the last two months of the 2014 season in Las Vegas and pitched very well. How difficult was it to adjust to the Pacific Coast League?
Mazzoni: It’s different. You can’t let the outside factors in your head. Everyone says the ball flies or the field is too tough. You just can’t think about it. You just have to pitch. You have to keep the ball down. That’s all you can do. The other stuff, you can’t really change that.
Brender: Since you want to keep the ball down anyway the experience in Vegas might actually be good for you?
Mazzoni: Yeah, exactly. If you’re keeping the ball down you’re probably going to have success. Working the corners, too. That’s all I can really do as a pitcher.
Brender: Talk about your repertoire and what you bring to the table on the mound.
Mazzoni: Fastball, slider guy. I have a splitter that, in the past, has been a little inconsistent but its been getting better. I’m still working on that, trying to get it to be more consistent. I think it could be a good pitch for me down the road.
Brender: You’re in an organization loaded with pitching. What, if anything, do you do to try to stand out?
Mazzoni: You can’t think about it. You just have to worry about yourself and go out there and pitch the best you can. If you go out there every five days and pitch to the best of your abilities and you’re pitching well good things are going to happen. We have a lot of great pitching. The Mets have a great pitching staff this year. Just can’t dwell on stuff. Have to go out there and pitch the best you can.
Brender: Any interest in going to the bullpen if they asked you to?
Mazzoni: Whatever they need me to do I’ll do. I pitched in the bullpen in college and I’ve been a starter most of my career. I think I can do both, so whatever they need me to do I can do it.
Brender: Excited to go back to Vegas to start the season?
Mazzoni: Yeah, I’m excited to pitch. The weather is kind of hot. You have to get used to that but I’m just ready to get the season going and hopefully stay healthy.
Brender: You got to watch Noah Syndergaard a lot last season. What did you see that impressed you?
Mazzoni: His stuff is very impressive. He’s sitting 97 the whole game and has a devastating breaking ball. The thing is, I don’t think he’s reached his potential yet. That’s what’s scary. Someone that young with that stuff. He’s going to be really special. Every start he just blows your mind, how good his stuff is and the way he competes. He just goes right after guys.