Carson may become second lefty specialist

Carson may become second lefty specialist

Carson may become second lefty specialist
NEW YORK -- Left-handed reliever Robert Carson placed two calls after he was informed he would be making his second stint with the Mets this season -- one to his agent and the other to his mother.

"My mom was excited again," Carson said. "It's a crazy feeling. I came up a few weeks ago. [I'm at a] loss for words, just to be back here talking with these guys. I'm really excited about it."

Carson, 23, was an emergency callup earlier in the season, but never appeared in a game. He was brought up from Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday after reliever D.J. Carrasco was designated for assignment. Mets manager Terry Collins said he expects Carson's stay to last longer than his previous one. Collins hopes the young pitcher can develop into New York's second left-handed reliever.

"We're going to put him in some situations, hopefully in the beginning, where he has a much better chance of success, so we can build the confidence that he can pitch at this level," Collins said. "If I'm Robert Carson, I'm latching on to Tim Byrdak."

Byrdak, the Mets' left-handed specialist, worked with Carson the last time he was called up and is no stranger to mentoring young pitchers. Carson didn't have the opportunity to work with the 38-year-old veteran during Spring Training because he was nursing an oblique injury, but Byrdak said intends to talk with Carson about adjusting to the big leagues.

"All he has to do to stick here is gain Terry Collins' confidence," Byrdak said. "That's the bottom line. Any of these young guys get called up, you pitch well, you get the manager's confidence, he's going to keep putting you in games and he's not going to be afraid to use you."

While Collins couldn't watch Carson this spring, he has seen the left-hander pitch. He said Carson throws a 94-95 mph fastball with a good cutter and slider, but for him to be successful, he'll have to command his pitches. Carson is 0-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings with Binghamton this season.

"He's had a very good year," Collins said. "I thought it was a very good move by the Minor League people to put him in the bullpen. He's had a few years where he's started, so he's accumulated enough innings to develop better command of his stuff."