Spring Q&A With Robert Carson

Last season, Robert Carson was a top performer at the lower levels of the farm system. Quality pitches, durability and success as a left-hander have all contributed to Carson's ascent up the prospect ladder. This year, Carson will be off to St. Lucie, but before he gets there he spoke with Inside Pitch in this exclusive Q&A about his offseason, spring training, and much more.

InsidePitchMagazine.com: It's a new year, the season starts next week, but take us back to your offseason. What was your offseason like? What things did you work on?

Robert Carson: I just followed with my routine and my program that the Mets had worked out for me. I added in some extra work to it. I worked with my old high school trainers and added in some stuff they thought would help me. It was just about grinding out the offseason and working hard to get myself in the best shape I could.

Inside Pitch: You were invited to STEP camp and got a chance to come in early and work. What did you focus on during STEP? What was the experience like for you overall?

Carson: I was real happy when I found out I was invited to STEP camp. I took it as an honor that the organization thought I was good enough to participate in it. I feel like I had a breakthrough last year in that I really found out so much about my pitching and what it takes for me to pitch well consistently and pitch like a winning pitcher.

I came in February 23rd, two weeks before spring training started, and just wanted to build on the things I learned and took away my first two spring trainings. I just did stuff to get me ready. The trainers I worked with back home got me in great shape and got me ready.

I was just working on where I left off in Savannah. I worked on my step and throws. I worked on commanding my fastball, commanding the strike zone and throwing more strikes. I worked on throwing all my pitches for strikes in different counts. STEP camp overall was a great experience. I talked to current big leaguers and former big leaguers and got to take away a lot from them.

Inside Pitch: Which of the big leaguers that came to visit STEP camp made a mark for you? Was there any message you took away that you think will help you this season?

Carson: I got a lot of great information from a lot of different people. We got to talk about what life is like in the big leagues, but we also talked about what it takes to get there, the responsibilities about working on your game and focusing on your game every step of the way. There isn't one big leaguer I can say stands out, but there was a lot of information coming from a lot of different people that was very positive and will definitely help me. It was a lot of good information to put into my brain. It was the kind of thing that will really motivate me for this season.

Inside Pitch: What can you take from your year in Savannah that will help you in St. Lucie? What do you want to keep using that gave you success that you think can translate to the next level?

Carson: I think I just have to pick up where I left off and I'll be okay. The competition will definitely be better, but I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and that's commanding the bottom of the zone and getting outs. I think that's something I need to keep doing. I feel like I'm becoming a complete pitcher. Last year, I had a problem against the running game and giving up too many stolen bases. But that's something I worked on during it Dominican Instructs and the offseason so now I feel like putting the whole package together. I just want to keep the momentum going from Savannah to St. Lucie and have a great year.

Inside Pitch: What was the Dominican Instructs like for you? That's a unique opportunity to play ball in a different country, get a different flavor and get new experiences. What did you take away from it?

Carson: It was a great experience. It was something I got a lot out of both from working on baseball and seeing the cultural differences of the game. It was really interesting to see what those guys go through down there to work their way up to the leagues here. To see it for myself instead of hearing from stories, I got a better idea of how it can be difficult for those players to come play ball here. It was kind of reversed for me going down there because I didn't know anything about the country and how do things down there. I'd love to go back and play. It made me look forward to next offseason and the idea of playing winter ball somewhere and get to play ball in a different country again and keep sharpening my skills.

Inside Pitch: The last couple weeks of camp are really the meat of the schedule with intrasquad games and games against other organizations. How do you feel about your performance in camp during this time? Are you pleased with the way you pitched or your results?

Carson: Getting the live competition is great to get me ready for the season, but what's been interesting about this spring training is that it's been the most competitive camp I've been a part of since I joined the Mets. There are a lot of players who are really competitive. I gotta say I've been very pleased with the performances I've had. I haven't tried to do too much. I've just been focusing on my release point and getting ready for the season, but I've been very pleased about the way I'm pitching.

Inside Pitch: What do you think has made this year's camp more competitive over other years?

Carson: There are so many starting pitchers here, from Brooklyn on up, who had very good seasons last year. They had really good seasons even at the lower levels from Brooklyn. Everyone had good years and that has made everybody come in fighting and pitching real good ball. Everyone is kind of at the same level at the end of the year. I may be a step ahead from where I pitched last year compared to other guys, but everyone ended on high notes. That's why camp has been so competitive. A pitcher can be stepped over by someone who was a level under you because everyone had such a good year on the mound.

Inside Pitch: Well here we are at the end of camp. The season starts later next week. Is there anything you want to get done before spring training ends and the regular season begins?

Carson: I just want to keep doing what I was doing from the start of STEP camp through all of spring training. I just want to get my arm ready and in shape for this 140-plus game schedule. I've my focus and I've my hungry and drive to go out and compete every day. I just want to stay healthy, finish my fourth season pitching better than I was the year before, and be a winning pitcher. That is very important to me, to be a winning pitcher.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nInsidePitchMagazine.com: It's a new year, the season starts next week, but take us back to your offseason. What was your offseason like? What things did you work on?
\r\n
\r\nRobert Carson: I just followed with my routine and my program that the Mets had worked out for me. I added in some extra work to it. I worked with my old high school trainers and added in some stuff they thought would help me. It was just about grinding out the offseason and working hard to get myself in the best shape I could.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: You were invited to STEP camp and got a chance to come in early and work. What did you focus on during STEP? What was the experience like for you overall?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: I was real happy when I found out I was invited to STEP camp. I took it as an honor that the organization thought I was good enough to participate in it. I feel like I had a breakthrough last year in that I really found out so much about my pitching and what it takes for me to pitch well consistently and pitch like a winning pitcher.
\r\n
\r\nI came in February 23rd, two weeks before spring training started, and just wanted to build on the things I learned and took away my first two spring trainings. I just did stuff to get me ready. The trainers I worked with back home got me in great shape and got me ready.
\r\n
\r\nI was just working on where I left off in Savannah. I worked on my step and throws. I worked on commanding my fastball, commanding the strike zone and throwing more strikes. I worked on throwing all my pitches for strikes in different counts. STEP camp overall was a great experience. I talked to current big leaguers and former big leaguers and got to take away a lot from them.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Which of the big leaguers that came to visit STEP camp made a mark for you? Was there any message you took away that you think will help you this season?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: I got a lot of great information from a lot of different people. We got to talk about what life is like in the big leagues, but we also talked about what it takes to get there, the responsibilities about working on your game and focusing on your game every step of the way. There isn't one big leaguer I can say stands out, but there was a lot of information coming from a lot of different people that was very positive and will definitely help me. It was a lot of good information to put into my brain. It was the kind of thing that will really motivate me for this season.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What can you take from your year in Savannah that will help you in St. Lucie? What do you want to keep using that gave you success that you think can translate to the next level?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: I think I just have to pick up where I left off and I'll be okay. The competition will definitely be better, but I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and that's commanding the bottom of the zone and getting outs. I think that's something I need to keep doing. I feel like I'm becoming a complete pitcher. Last year, I had a problem against the running game and giving up too many stolen bases. But that's something I worked on during it Dominican Instructs and the offseason so now I feel like putting the whole package together. I just want to keep the momentum going from Savannah to St. Lucie and have a great year.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What was the Dominican Instructs like for you? That's a unique opportunity to play ball in a different country, get a different flavor and get new experiences. What did you take away from it?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: It was a great experience. It was something I got a lot out of both from working on baseball and seeing the cultural differences of the game. It was really interesting to see what those guys go through down there to work their way up to the leagues here. To see it for myself instead of hearing from stories, I got a better idea of how it can be difficult for those players to come play ball here. It was kind of reversed for me going down there because I didn't know anything about the country and how do things down there. I'd love to go back and play. It made me look forward to next offseason and the idea of playing winter ball somewhere and get to play ball in a different country again and keep sharpening my skills.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: The last couple weeks of camp are really the meat of the schedule with intrasquad games and games against other organizations. How do you feel about your performance in camp during this time? Are you pleased with the way you pitched or your results?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: Getting the live competition is great to get me ready for the season, but what's been interesting about this spring training is that it's been the most competitive camp I've been a part of since I joined the Mets. There are a lot of players who are really competitive. I gotta say I've been very pleased with the performances I've had. I haven't tried to do too much. I've just been focusing on my release point and getting ready for the season, but I've been very pleased about the way I'm pitching.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: What do you think has made this year's camp more competitive over other years?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: There are so many starting pitchers here, from Brooklyn on up, who had very good seasons last year. They had really good seasons even at the lower levels from Brooklyn. Everyone had good years and that has made everybody come in fighting and pitching real good ball. Everyone is kind of at the same level at the end of the year. I may be a step ahead from where I pitched last year compared to other guys, but everyone ended on high notes. That's why camp has been so competitive. A pitcher can be stepped over by someone who was a level under you because everyone had such a good year on the mound.
\r\n
\r\nInside Pitch: Well here we are at the end of camp. The season starts later next week. Is there anything you want to get done before spring training ends and the regular season begins?
\r\n
\r\nCarson: I just want to keep doing what I was doing from the start of STEP camp through all of spring training. I just want to get my arm ready and in shape for this 140-plus game schedule. I've my focus and I've my hungry and drive to go out and compete every day. I just want to stay healthy, finish my fourth season pitching better than I was the year before, and be a winning pitcher. That is very important to me, to be a winning pitcher.
\r\n
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