Last night, during the Stache Radio broadcast (the podcast of which can be found here), I posed a question via Twitter to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal regarding Vic Black. I asked if he had a chance to see him live this spring, and his thoughts in regards to Black in the eighth inning role. Diamond had this to say:
"Vic Black... the Mets did very well in acquiring him. He's a guy that has great stuff, great potential, throws hard. With him, it really comes down to one thing, and that's his command... There is no questioning the stuff.
"He's a guy that you're going to see get an opportunity to be that set-up guy. He's gonna be a guy that the Mets are hoping will pitch in late inning situations, high leverage situations. I think he was a good get for them."Diamond went on to say that Black will almost certainly make the team out of Spring Training, although the franchise would like to see him bring his walk rate down and throw for more strikes.
This is largely what I'd hoped to hear about Black. Brought in from the Pirates in the trade that sent them John Buck and Marlon Byrd, Black could prove to be a steal for what amounted to a couple of rental players. I'd like to see him in the pros, if nothing else to be under the eye of pitching coach Dan Warthen, who has done a pretty good job with the rest of the staff. If Black performs, he can help plug a hole in a bullpen that was a considerable weakness for last year's Mets.
As an aside, if you're ever free on a Monday or Wednesday, you should check out the Total Sports Blog Radio and Stache Radio shows. They're call in and Twitter interactive, and it's a good place for insightful sports discussions. With Jared Diamond this week, and Marc Carig of Newsday on next week, they're bringing in some pretty good guests for information and opinion on the Mets.