Minicamp Q&A with Matt Durkin

Righthander Matt Durkin, the Mets' No. 2 pick out of San Jose State, is working out in St. Lucie after signing with the team in August. He checked in with InsidePitchMagazine.com for a Q&A on the camp, his negotiating process and the signing of No. 1 pick Philip Humber:

This is your first major league camp experience. What has it been like so far?

So far, it's been great. I'm basically trying to pick up as much as I can and get it all geared up for spring training, believe me.

Which coaches have you been working with?

All of them. I'm just trying to learn all the philosophies and tests as best I can, and learn to move the best I can. It's been great, and I'm trying to take what I've learned and combine it with new stuff that can hopefully help me progress in my career.

What sorts of things have you been working on?

There's a whole new weight program and there's been a whole lot of mechanical stuff, and it's only been just one day. Just imagine what two more days could do. We got in here at 8:00 [on Monday] and left at 4:00, so it was intensive. We did a little throwing and warm-up, stuff like that. Nothing too major, but stuff that definitely should help.

What was the negotiating process like with the Mets?

I don't think they were in too much of a hurry to sign me. At first, I thought it was going to go real quickly, and then as the summer went on I think they wanted me to rest my arm – I threw a lot of innings in college and I don't think they were too interested in me getting out here. I think they wanted me to come out and see how things go, but now that's all over with. I'm glad to be here and everything's good.

Who have you been speaking with in the clubhouse?

I've met some of the guys and they're all really good guys. I'm just trying to remember everyone's name. The first time you walk in here to the locker room and see all the nameplates, it does kind of set you back a little bit. Everyone's a ballplayer.

Do you have any idea where you'll be starting 2005?

I have no clue. I wouldn't mind starting right here [in St. Lucie], this would be great. I hear it's a great league and everyone here has been great so far. But anywhere is fine.

Is there a major league pitcher you could compare yourself to?

My friends tell me Brett Tomko. They say I look just like him and throw just like him, but I don't know. I wish I was Curt Schilling (Durkin laughs).

Were you surprised it took so long for the Mets to sign No. 1 pick Philip Humber?

Oh, I'm glad. I was hoping he would sign, because you'd hate to lose that guy. He's awesome. I played against him for two years in college, and he's got some of the best stuff I've probably seen. He's throwing 97 MPH and his curveball is unhittable. He's definitely the real deal. I'm looking forward to talking with him, he's a good guy too. He'll move quick, I think he'll move up the ladder in no time.

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