Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With Spring Training for the Mets in Port St. Lucie about to get underway, who will be on the 25-man roster when the team heads north? And what will their roles be? Here's how we see things shaking out...
Starting Rotation (5)
- Jacob deGrom, RHP
- Noah Syndergaard, RHP
- Steven Matz, LHP
- Zack Wheeler, RHP
- Jason Vargas, LHP
Spring Training Battles: None
When it comes to the top four in the Mets' rotation, there is zero competition. Like all teams, it comes down to health. And if deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler are healthy, they're going to be the top four. Matz is the No. 3 starter here simply to break up the left-handers, not as any kind of slight to Wheeler, who was among the best pitchers in baseball during the second half of 2018.
The No. 5 spot in the rotation belongs to Vargas for now, and barring a disastrous Spring Training or an injury (or the Mets unexpectedly signing Gio Gonzalez), Vargas will be the guy.
If the Mets need to dip into their starting pitching depth (it's not great, but there are some solid options) for a long-term fix, they can turn to Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman. If they need a short-term fill-in, options include Walter Lockett, Kyle Dowdy, and Chris Flexen.
- Edwin Diaz, RHP
- Jeurys Familia, RHP
- Seth Lugo, RHP
- Robert Gsellman, RHP
- Justin Wilson, LHP
- Luis Avilan, LHP
- Drew Smith, RHP
- Kyle Dowdy, RHP
Spring Training Battles: Beyond the first five on the list above, there are no locks. Some are likelier than others to make it due to roster rules and other factors, but there will be some real competition here, with close to 10 relievers battling it out for three spots.
When it comes to a second lefty to complement Justin Wilson (who is a true crossover reliever), it should come down to Luis Avilan vs. Daniel Zamora. Avilan is a potential steal for the Mets on a minor league deal, and has been pretty effective during his career. If he's solid this spring, he should break camp with the team.
For the second-to-last spot, Drew Smith gets the nod over Tyler Bashlor, who has tons of potential but gave up too many homers in 2018.
The final spot goes to recent Rule 5 draft pick Kyle Dowdy, who the Mets need to keep on the 25-man roster all season if they want to keep. Dowdy, who has lots of experience starting games, can serve as the long-man while the Mets decide if he's a long-term piece.
Everyday Position Players (8)
- Wilson Ramos, C
- Todd Frazier, 1B
- Robinson Cano, 2B
- Amed Rosario, SS
- Jed Lowrie, 3B
- Michael Conforto, LF
- Brandon Nimmo, CF
- Jeff McNeil, RF
Spring Training Battles: Peter Alonso vs. Service Time Considerations and Jeff McNeil vs. The Outfield
Brodie Van Wagenen has been talking up Peter Alonso all offseason, and it isn't without merit: Alonso can absolutely mash, has been working hard on his defense at first base, and is ready to take the next step. But there are two issues when it comes to Alonso making the Opening Day roster.
The first is that it simply doesn't make sense to have Alonso on the roster from the get-go when doing so would mean the Mets forfeiting a year of team control. If they simply wait until mid-April, they'll secure the extra year.
The second issue when it comes to Alonso making the team is that unless the Mets are prepared to bench Todd Frazier, there isn't anywhere for Alonso to play -- not with Jed Lowrie on board and expected to play every day on the infield with Amed Rosario and Robinson Cano.
When it comes to McNeil, the Mets are "making a commitment" to develop him as an outfielder -- something his college coach says McNeil will be able to handle. And if McNeil is able to handle the outfield transition smoothly, expect him in the lineup nearly every day.
- Juan Lagares, OF
- Keon Broxton, OF
- Travis d'Arnaud, C
- J.D. Davis, 1B/3B/OF
Spring Training Battles: Travis d'Arnaud vs. The Trading Block
With the signing of Devin Mesoraco to a minor league deal, the Mets have someone who can take over as the backup if they trade d'Arnaud before the season -- something they're still considering.
Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton -- both right-handed hitting, defense-first ouffielders -- are a bit redundant, but they'll both make it.
When it comes to the final spot on the bench (if the Mets indeed only take four bench players), expect it to go to J.D. Davis, who Van Wagenen acquired via trade earlier this offseason and gives the Mets someone they can plug in all over the diamond. And he can pitch!
One minor issue with the above bench is that there is no backup middle infielder. However, that issue is mitigated with the presence on the roster of Lowrie and McNeil.