ATLANTA -- As a former director of player development and Minor League field coordinator, Terry Collins has a strong background in teaching baseball to young players. Though that role has to take a backseat now that he is the Mets' manager, he still values the opportunities he does get to teach.
Even though the Mets are in the mix for a playoff spot at the outset of the second half, Collins said the learning can't stop.
"We can't stop the development of our young players," Collins said. "Just because they've been here for three months now, we just can't throw up our hands and say, 'I hope they got it.' That's not how it is. It's a constant process."
Collins took advantage of one teachable moment in Friday's 7-5 loss to the Braves. Left-hander Josh Edgin made his Major League debut, entering a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth inning. Edgin got out of the inning unscathed and retired the first two batters he faced in the sixth inning.
Then, however, he ran into trouble. Chipper Jones hit a 3-2 hanging slider into the center-field seats, and Freddie Freeman followed with a double off the wall in right field. Collins took Edgin out of the game, then made sure to explain where the inning had gone wrong.
"The one thing we went over was, he's got to have a big, broad idea of the situation at hand," Collins said.
Collins told Edgin that after getting the right-handed-hitting Martin Prado to fly out to start the inning, he then needed to focus on retiring Jason Heyward and Freeman, the left-handers surrounding switch-hitter Jones.
"When you got Prado out, all of a sudden, it becomes Heyward, Freeman," Collins said. "You can't let the guy in the middle beat you. So when you've got 3-2 on him, you've got to say, 'He's got to hit my pitch.' You don't have to throw a strike there."