After the B-Mets were eliminated from the playoffs, I reached out to relief pitcher Chasen Bradford to talk about this past season, his recent playoff experience and what lies ahead for his future.
Back on August 26th, MMN’s own Prince Rahman had a very good interview with him that was very informative on who Chasen Bradford is on and off the field. You can read that post by clicking here.
I originally met Chasen at the same time that I reached out to Daniel Muno when both players participated in the Disability Dream and Do baseball camp back in early August. He also had some great things to say about Dave Clark and how the camp impacted his life.
It was amazing. The spirit that every single one of the kids had was inspiring. No matter their illness they were pumped to be out there with us. Running around and just hanging out with us. I was blessed to have the opportunity. The baseball season is long but day’s like that one make it easy for us to realize how truly blessed and gifted we are. We think we inspire but the truth is they inspired us. Dave is a great guy and is giving such an awesome gift to these kids. Seeing them smile for two hours and having fun was the most rewarding part.
Coming into 2013, Chasen had been making his way through the Mets farm system. In 2011, his first season in pro baseball, he played with the Kingsport Mets; in 21 games, he posted a 3.51 ERA, with 37 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. In 2012, he was promoted to the Savannah Sand Gnats. He appeared in 37 games, going 4-5 with a 2.47 ERA, 3 saves and 41 strikeouts in 51 innings. At the start of the 2013 season, Chasen found himself with the St. Lucie Mets and in 30 games he was 6-2, 3.41 ERA, 3 saves and 43 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. The second half of the season, he was promoted to Binghamton where he was basically lights out. In 20 games with the B-Mets, Chasen was 3-1, with a 0.71 ERA, with 18 strikeouts in 19.1 innings of work and one very important save that would clinch a playoff spot for the B-Mets. In the playoffs, which was not a successful run for the team, Chasen pitched 3.1 innings and gave up two hits and struck out four with a 0.00 ERA. Although the spotlight was on what he accomplished, in his mind it was not enough: “In the end it does not matter how I pitched because we did not reach the ultimate goal.”
David – You have already chatted with one of our great writers, Prince Rahman, who conducted a well-informed interview with you, what does it mean to have the writers from Mets blog sites, who are also Mets fans, want to share your story?
Chasen – I am not usually one for exposure like this, I kind of like to just keep to myself and do my job but it really is appreciative that the things I have done on the baseball field are being seen by others, than my family. I think its cool to get my story out there because I have been very fortunate to make it where I am from where I started, its just awesome to get to play all the time.
David – When Mets GM Sandy Alderson came to visit you guys before the first playoff game, what did that mean to you and what was his message to the team?
Chasen – He was there but didn’t speak with us. I think he wanted us to just focus on what we had in front of us and didn’t want to add any pressure to the situation of being in the playoffs.
David – This playoff series had to be bitter sweet for you, you pitched extremely well, but the team didn’t advance, what would you take away from your experience in the playoffs?
Chasen – I am not really a numbers guy and when people talk about how well I do I just say, I’m doing the best I can to get the job I have been given done. In the end it does not matter how I pitched because we did not reach the ultimate goal, but every time I go out there and step on the mound I have my job to do to keep the team in the ball game no matter if we are up or down.
David – Looking back on the season, you were brought into a game on August 17th to close it out and you finished the inning 1-2-3, what was the feeling like for you to earn your first save of the season which also clinched a spot in the playoffs?
Chasen – You know it was really cool, now I know why everyone wants to be the closer. It was an adrenaline rush for sure and was one of the coolest things I have done in my career.
David – You came over in the middle of the season from St Lucie and pitched superbly in 20 games with the B Mets, did you feel you pitched to your potential in those 20 games or do you feel you have more to prove? And what can you take away from this season that will help you to improve in your development as a pitcher?
Chasen – Well being a perfectionist there is always something I can get better at, haha, but no I had a great season and felt good all year. I am happy with what I was able to accomplish in St. Lucie and Binghamton. I think the biggest thing I learned this year is to simplify things and just go out there and enjoy what I get to do as a job, because you really can’t beat it right?
David – What importance do you put on winning in the minors? Do you feel that it truly prepares you for the next level?
Chasen – Winning is always important but obviously the job of the coaches is to develop us so that when we get the call we are ready for the next level. Every one of us wants to win, it is just how we are, type A personalities that will do anything to get the job done. I don’t know if it prepared me for the next level because I haven’t been there yet but it definitely is a good starting point and I am excited for the next step where ever it may be.
David – If you had a choice to select how you would like to be utilized out of the bullpen, what would be your preferences?
Chasen – I have been a set up guy my whole career with the Mets and that is one thing that I really enjoy to do. It would be cool to be a closer but you have to have someone to get you from 8 to 9, that’s the way I look at it at least.
David – You mentioned to our own Prince Rahman in his interview that you might be playing in winter ball and that is when the hard work begins, but after a tough loss like this, do you put any added pressure on yourself?
Chasen – I am going to be playing in the Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions along with a couple other guys. There really is not any added pressure because no matter how hard I tried I could not control anything but what I did in the games I got a chance to pitch in. Obviously it sucks to not be playing for a championship but there is always next year. So all I can do right now is work on staying in shape and getting ready for the Fall League and after that things will fall into place.
David – What was the playoff experience like playing in front of the hometown fans?
Chasen – The fans in Binghamton were awesome, even though we did not make it where we wanted or they wanted they still showed support for us and congratulated us on a great season. It was awesome to see them give us a standing ovation after the last out was made, shows that Mets fans are the best fans out there.
David – If you had to address the team, especially after not advancing to the next round, what would you tell your teammates? What would you tell your fans?
Chasen – There is not really much you can say after something like that but we all knew that we put everything out there and sometimes you come up a little short but that does not take away from the stuff this team accomplished this year and the whole team knows that. I would tell our fans thank you for everything they have done for us and for all the support they continued to give us even during the rough times.
David – What was the chemistry like on the B-Mets after you arrived?
Chasen – The chemistry was the best team I have ever been on, if you need something you have 10-20 people there ready to help you out no matter what the issue was. You do not find that with many teams, but the biggest thing this team was great at was checking egos at the door and working as team.
David – Comparing to other pro teams you have played on, can you tell me what was it like being on a team in a playoff hunt?
Chasen – I have been on teams that were close to getting to the playoffs but this was the first year I actually got to play in a playoff game, it was a growing experience and a great experience to be apart of. Especially with such a great group of teammates.
David – Is there anything about this season you wish you could change or was it what you expected?
Chasen – Overall I think my season was a good one, but of course I wish I would have started off a little better but the motto it is not how you start, but how you finish always stuck with me and helped me through the adversity of a not so good start.
David – What are your immediate plans now that the season has ended, do you go home and rest up, or do you stick with a routine?
Chasen – For the last three days I have just relaxed a little bit and given the arm a break but will start throwing soon so I can be ready for the fall league and take advantage of the opportunity.
I would like to thank Chasen for taking the time to chat with me. I wish him continued success as he continues to develop and grow though the Mets farm system. I look forward to rooting him on through his journey that will undoubtedly lead to the Major Leagues. I wish him much success and fun in the Arizona Fall League. The future for the Mets gets even brighter.
(Photo courtesy of the Dave Clark Foundation)