In a recent interview with MLB.com at Citi Field, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor answered a wide range of topics from New York's postseason chances to dealing with rookies such as Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez.
MLB.com: We are doing this interview on Thursday morning. The Mets have been playing well lately. Is this a good sign and can the team catch the Phillies for the third and final Wild Card spot in the National League?
Lindor: Every day is a good chance to move forward. We haven’t really said, “Hey guys, we are 8-4 [in our last 12 games] or, “Hey guys, we’ve won two games in a row.” No. It’s one of those where we show up every day and we focus on what we have on a daily basis and we try to roll. We have a great opportunity to make a good run.
MLB.com: How shocking is it that this team has struggled for most of the year?
Lindor: It’s baseball. In a way, yeah, it is shocking. At the same time, you understand that we are going to have ups and downs. It’s one of those weird things where we all struggled at the same time. Usually, you have one guy who is 0-for-20 and everybody else is hitting or one guy is not pitching well, but everybody else is dominating on the mound. This time, it’s like all of us are struggling. We are talented, but not putting it together.
MLB.com: The team is going on the road to play American League teams. The Mets play the Red Sox and then the Yankees. How important is this trip?
Lindor: Every road trip is important and every home game is important. We just have to get it done. You can’t take any day for granted. You have to focus on doing things right on a daily basis.
MLB.com: The non-waiver Trade Deadline is coming up. Is it time to break up the Mets or keep everything status quo?
Lindor: For me, it’s time to start winning and let the front office deal with what they have to deal with. I don’t want to go through a rebuild. I want to be in the postseason every single year. But if that’s something the front office needs to do, they have to do what they have to do. They are going to do what’s best for the team. They put a lot of energy this past offseason to put a winning team together. We just have to back them up.
MLB.com: You have a point. Owner Steve Cohen and the front office have done what they could to help this team. How bad do you feel that the team has been a disappointment for the most part?
Lindor: It definitely doesn’t feel good that we haven’t been able to do the job. However, every day that passes is in the past. We have a great opportunity today to try to win a ballgame. We can’t live in the past. We have to stay present, stay in the moment and compete.
MLB.com: There’s one thing I noticed: You have been calm since you have been a member of the Mets. You haven’t let the city affect you. Why?
Lindor: I surround myself with good teammates. We bounce [good] energy and vibes from each other. I have faith that God is on my side. I have my wife and my kids. They are my little heaven on earth. There are going to be ups and downs. You have to understand that you are not as good as your ups and you are not as bad as your downs.
MLB.com: With the exception of your batting average, you are having a good year. What do you think of the year you are having?
Lindor: It has been a tough year. It’s one of those years where I have been grinding. The batting average is not very appealing. It’s tough to go on the field and go 0-for-4, 0-for-4, 2-for-4, 0-for-4 and 1-for-4. However, I have contributed to the team. It’s been a constant fight. There hasn’t been two weeks where I said, “Ooh, I’m on cruise control.” I’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time.
MLB.com: What improvements do you have to make in the batter’s box?
Lindor: Put the ball in play.
MLB.com: But you have a lot of RBIs. You are in the top 15 in the Major Leagues in that category.
Lindor: I think one of the most important things is to be consistent. I just have to find that consistency in my rhythm, flow and mechanics and get on base.
MLB.com: The one thing I noticed is your close relationship with manager Buck Showalter. What does he mean to you?
Lindor: He is special. He has allowed me to be Francisco Lindor. He told me to come in day in and day out and play the game the right way. That’s what I’m doing, just posting up. You post up, and I’m there.
MLB.com: What has he done that made you say, “Buck Showalter is all right with me.”
Lindor: He has kept the negativity away from us. He has been amazing at letting the young kids thrive.
MLB.com: Showalter did that with the Yankees. How good is it to see young kids like Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty get a chance.
Lindor: Fantastic. The young kids are the future of our game and the organization.
MLB.com: You have taken Baty and Alvarez under your wing. Why are you doing it and what does that mean to you?
Lindor: They are the future of our organization. It’s one of those things where a lot of people have helped me coming through the [Guardians'] system. Once I got to the big leagues, there were guys like Michael Brantley, Mike Aviles, Michael Bourn and Carlos Carrasco who helped me to strive. I’m paying it forward. I’m trying to be there and let them know I have their backs no matter what.
MLB.com: What was the biggest advice those veterans gave you that you gave to Baty and Alvarez?
Lindor: Stay within yourself. Don’t let the good days get to your head. Don’t let the bad days take you to the past.
MLB.com: I can’t leave you without asking you, how’s your mother, Maria Serrano?
Lindor: Thank you for asking. She is improving. All the things she has been through, she is great. It’s a blessing to still have her and talk to her. She is my rock.
MLB.com: Is she planning on seeing you?
Lindor: I hope so. She hasn't been able to come this year. It’s tough to have her fly.
MLB.com: She had an aneurysm [in 2020].
Lindor: Yes. Maybe when we play Miami, she will come over there.