Mets' Jordan Yamamoto says 'we're all fighting for spots' in rotation

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Colin Martin
·3 min read
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Jordan Yamamoto
Jordan Yamamoto

RHP Jordan Yamamoto spoke to media for the first time as a member of the Mets at spring training on Sunday, discussing his role on a new team and his hopes for the season ahead.

The Mets acquired the 24-year-old pitcher from the Miami Marlins on Feb. 1 in exchange for minor league INF Federico Polanco. He joins a pitching rotation that has not been solidified for the regular season, and was asked what the team has told him to expect going forward.

"It's one of those things that it's not new to me in this lifestyle, it's not new to me in my career, they told me we're all fighting for spots here," Yamamoto said. "I'm taking that, I'm working my butt off. Working out, getting after it, getting a routine in. Just trying to show them that I want to be here, show them I'm ready to go. In years past, spring training rolls around and it's kind of 'Hey, let's get ready, let's use spring training as getting ready.' But now it's, 'Hey, we're ready to go, we're ready to rumble, we're here in New York, and we're ready to go.'"

Yamamoto has pitched in 19 games in his career since entering the league in 2019, starting 18 of those games. He has a career 4-6 record with a 6.20 ERA over 90.0 IP, but threw just 11.0 inning last season with a 18.26 ERA.

The righty has dealt with injuries in the past, and is confident that his offseason training will help him stay healthy.

"The big thing in my career so far is about staying healthy," Yamamoto said. "It's one of those issues that has been underlying for a while. So this offseason I really focused on my shoulder, getting my shoulder healthy so it can last however many innings that I'm going to throw. That was the main thing, cleaning up mechanics, being in the zone a lot more. The main thing is just being healthy."

Yamamoto was then asked about former Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez, a fellow Hawaii native, and if wearing the same number as Fernandez is in his plans for this season. Fernandez played for the Mets from 1984-1993, earning two All-Star appearances (1986, 1987) and helping the team take home the 1986 World Series title.

"Oh yeah, I've definitely heard of Sid Fernandez, you best believe that's a legend in Hawaii," Yamamoto said. "It's funny, I grew up with one of his nephews, so we used to played Little League together. We all got baseball cards from Sid Fernandez growing up, it's kinda cool, all of them signed and everything.

"He's a legend in Hawaii, same as Benny Agbayani. It's funny, I got a call from someone from back home and they were like 'so, you gonna get No. 50?' and I was like, rookie here, can't really do much about that, I gotta earn it before I do anything."