Which Met's Poor Spring Worries You?

Spring training statistics are more or less irrelevant. Players are working on things and the level of competition often includes the recently injured and minor leaguers. Still, there's not much to read about and discuss right now, outside of endless injury updates and Wilpon news. We are human, give us triple slash lines so we can ascribe to them some miniscule level of meaning!

Read below about some of the probable Opening Day Mets who are struggling this spring and answer the poll question. Note that injured players are not considered.

Miguel Batista -- 7.2 IP, 7.04 ERA, 3 K, 3 BB

Batista has pulled an Elmer Dessens in recent years by outperforming his weak peripherals. He also pulled a Nelson Figueroa in 2011, throwing a complete game shutout in the last game of the season. The Mets front office seems to like him, so much so that he apparently has a roster spot locked up as the long man out of the bullpen. The idea of a 41 year-old with a 1.27 K/BB ratio in his last 1001.2 MLB innings pitched making the team is annoying, no matter how cerebral and interesting he is off the field.

Jason Bay -- 30 AB, .233/.378/.300, 0 HR

Whatever.

Terry Collins -- Publicly chastised Ruben Tejada for not reporting to camp early; lost his cool about injuries piling up; ejected from a spring training game

Collins has been an adequate manager in his brief Mets tenure. At the least, he is preferable to Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel. Lay off the bunts and the Tejada callouts and everything will be just fine. However, are his spring training actions a prelude to a maelstrom of a regular season? Will Collins be able to keep his cool with a likely last place team?

Frank Francisco -- 9 IP, 6.00 ERA, 5 K, 2 BB

More worrisome than Francisco's spring ERA has been his spring velocity. His fastball has been in the 88-90 mph range, rather than the 93-94 mph range he is accustomed to. Note that "worrisome" is hyperbole at this point; it's fair to allow a closer at least through Opening Day to earn the everlasting ire of the fanbase. Francisco has been a solid pitcher for several years now. Odds are against him winning the D.J. Carrasco Award, in honor of the good free agent reliever who signs a multi-year deal with the Mets, only to immediately cease to be useful.

Two of Francisco's bullpen compatriots, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch, have unsightly ERAs this spring. However, both have respectable strikeout and walk tallies, as well as expected radar gun readings. They are omitted from this small sample size exercise in needless fretting.

Daniel Murphy -- 39 AB, .256/.341/.256, 0 XBH

The focus on Murphy this spring has been his defense at second base rather than his offense, and rightfully so. He lacks experience at the position, which is tougher than anywhere else he has played on the diamond. There is reason to believe he will hit at an above average clip, given his past performance and age. Still, he's coming off a serious knee injury. Will that affect his hitting? Or will he be just fine, as he was in 2011 following his 2010 knee injury?

Mike Nickeas -- 22 AB, .227/.261/.318

Nickeas' triple slash line this spring is similar to his career Triple-A line (.211/.275/.296). So the worry here would be less about a poor spring and more about a poor ability to hit a baseball no matter the time of year. Lucas May and Rob Johnson are also in Mets camp competing for the backup catcher spot. May cooled off after a hot start this spring and Johnson is Johnson. What is my hope for the Mets' backup catcher situation? A healthy, productive, and frequently playing Josh Thole.

Mike Pelfrey -- 15.2 IP, 11.49 ERA, 6 K, 6 BB

It's too deep into March, and the Mets' starting pitching depth is too atrocious, to seriously consider cutting Pelfrey. Plus he gets rocked every spring training. He's here for the time being. Maybe this is the season he makes us all proud.

Justin Turner -- 42 AB, .119/.178/.190, 1 HR

One of the sillier stories this spring was that Turner might back up Ike Davis at first base. As if the Mets are lacking in that department, and Turner can hit like anything resembling a first baseman. Turner is passable defensively at both second base and third base, so he will likely make the Opening Day roster. Hopefully he can improve upon his just-below-average 2011 season at the plate.

Hat tip to Tom at Bluebird Banter for this post's inspiration.

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