The Mets are in camp, everyone is in the best shape of his life, and yesterday was the first intra-squad game. And the Mets won! I think. I don't know, actually, since I didn't see the results. But hey, baseball, right?
As they do every year, the Mets have a boatload of players in Port St. Lucie vying for a spot with the big club. Also like every year, there is no conceivable way most of these guys will make the team. Of course, if things go horribly awry as they did in 2009, having some extra warm bodies on the farm can only help.
Since most of the players in camp don't really deserve more than a sentence or two describing their current status, we've got the Make-The-Mets-O-Meter, which conveniently summarizes the likelihood that each player will make the Opening Day roster.
Today we'll look at the pitchers in camp; tomorrow we will get to the position players.
|Travis Blackley, LHP||Australian lefty with limited upside, though he looked pretty good as a reliever with the Diamondbacks' AAA club last season.|
|Elmer Dessens, RHP||Doesn't have much to write home about. His 3.31 ERA in 2009 looks like an aberration, as he struck out less than four batters per nine innings.|
|R.A. Dickey, RHP||Throws a knuckleball. Went to the same high school as Sam. Can't win 'em all, I guess.|
|Jack Egbert, RHP||Pitched for the White Sox in 2009, primarily in the minors. The Rutherford, NJ native has a career minor league groundball-to-flyball rate of better than 2-to-1.|
|Clint Everts, RHP*||Went to Cypress Falls High School in Houston with Scott Kazmir, and was selected ten spots earlier than Kaz in the 2002 draft. High-strikeout, high-walk guy who has yet to throw a pitch in the big leagues.|
|Josh Fogg, RHP||His durability as well as his flexibility to pitch out of the bullpen or the rotation could give him the inside track. His nickname "Dragon Slayer" is awesome.|
|Nelson Figueroa, RHP*||Figueroa went 2-6 with a 3.22 ERA and 44 strikeouts to 16 walks down the stretch with the Mets last season. He might be an above-average pitcher, which the Mets should certainly have a place for.|
|Eddie Kunz, RHP*||Kunz should really be better than he has been. His groundball rate has been terrific, but he walked almost a batter every two innings last season and allowed eight homeruns in 62 innings.|
|Bobby Livingston, LHP||Junkballing lefty with a below-average fastball, Livingston relies on his command to get hitters out. When he gets them out. Which isn’t as often as it needs to be.|
|Arturo Lopez, LHP||Grabbed off waivers from the Padres in 2009, was designated for assignment to make room for Rod Barajas and, in what was surprising to no one, went unclaimed and came back to the Mets.|
|Jay Marshall, LHP*||Sidearming lefty who keeps the ball on the ground and dominates left-handed batters. He allows very few homeruns and showed excellent control in the minors. Could be a lefty Chad Bradford.|
|Pat Misch, LHP*||Mediocre pitcher all around, it's hard to believe that Misch made seven starts with the Mets last summer. The Mets will be in bad shape if he makes another seven this summer.|
|Carlos Muñiz, RHP||Missed most of 2009 with a shoulder injury, hasn't had a FIP below 4.00 anywhere since 2007. Looked like a decent reliever back then. Now, not so much.|
|Jon Niese, LHP*||Niese has a good chance to make the Mets' rotation out of camp, though he will get plenty of competition from Figueroa and Nieve. Niese has youth on his side, but he also has options, which could mean he starts the season in Triple-A Buffalo.|
|Eric Niesen, LHP||Destroys lefties; righties, less so. Niesen is the #19 prospect in the Amazin' Avenue Annnual, and his increased strikeout rate in 2009 is probably the reason why.|
|Fernando Nieve, RHP*||Nieve's stuff always seems better than the results. He's still just 27 and he throws a fastball in the mid-nineties, but he has just average strikeout numbers in 143 big-league innings and below-average walk and homerun numbers to complement.|
|Bobby Parnell, RHP*||Spent 2009 with the Mets, starting eight games and coming out of the bullpen in sixty more. His 4.74 xFIP is not so hot, but his t-shirt design wasn't half-bad.|
|Tobi Stoner, RHP*||Great control, poor strikeout numbers will likely keep him from being anything beyond roster fodder. He's still just 25, but his highest strikeout rate since A-ball was 6.72 in Double-A in 2008.|
|Hisanori Takahashi, LHP||Not Ken Takahashi, Hisanori has averaged better than three strikeouts per walk over the past three seasons in Japan. A screwball seems to be his out pitch; the Japanese John Franco?|
= Chance of making the Mets is unchanged.
= Chance of making the Mets is going down.
= Chance of making the Mets is going up.
* = player on 40-man roster