Zach Lutz: Opening Day backup corner infielder? - Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Which Mets position players have the best shot at making the Opening Day roster?
As spring training continues to plod along, the competition for spots on the Mets' Opening Day roster is still looking wide open. With only a few players set in stone as starters for April 1, forthcoming roster decisions about the outfield and the bench remain a mystery.
The Mets cleared up the picture a little bit over the past week by sending Juan Centeno, Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello, and Wilfredo Tovar to minor league camp. None of the four players were really expected to start the year in the big leagues, though.
|Mike Baxter, OF||Baxter hasn't hit much in spring games, but it's hard to see him getting squeezed out of the Opening Day roster.|
|Brian Bixler, UTIL||Bixler's spring stat line is outstanding — .389/.542/.722 — but doesn't match up with what he's done in his career. Still has a shot to be the backup middle infielder, though.|
|Andrew Brown, OF||If spring training is to be used to determine who makes the team and who doesn't, Brown's not helping himself with a paltry .368 OPS in his 25 plate appearances thus far.|
|Marlon Byrd, OF||Hitting well enough in spring training, Byrd's track record of major league success, albeit a couple years in the past, probably gives him an advantage when it comes to making the team.|
|Collin Cowgill, OF||Still a candidate for King of Spring Training, Cowgill's setting the bar high with his gaudy spring stats.|
|Travis d'Arnaud, C||Like Zack Wheeler, d'Arnaud's looked very good in spring training, but there's a reason he's incredibly unlikely to make the Opening Day roster.|
|Matt den Dekker, OF||His defense is unquestionably top notch, but his bat just doesn't seem ready for the big leagues yet.|
|Lucas Duda, OF||His bat's started to come alive over the past week, and he's been a virtual lock to make the roster from the beginning.|
|Wilmer Flores, 2B/3B||Even if Daniel Murphy begins the year on the disabled list, Flores is just 21 years old and needs some more time to develop his bat in the minors. He'll be trying to learn second base, too, while he's there.|
|Brandon Hicks, IF||With a couple of spring home runs and not much else at the plate, Hicks is probably keeping his name in the mix for backup infielders, but he's not a favorite.|
|Jamie Hoffman, OF||There's still a shot for every outfielder in camp to make the team, but Hoffman's probably the least likely of the bunch to do so.|
|Zach Lutz, 3B/1B||We keep telling ourselves that it's Lutz or Satin who will open the year as the team's backup to David Wright and Ike Davis. And we know Lutz knows how to hit.|
|Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF||Still on the shelf with his bruised knee, Kirk should not be guaranteed a spot on the roster.|
|Landon Powell, C||He's hit fairly well. I'd guess the Mets put Recker on the Opening Day roster, but perhaps there's something they prefer in Powell.|
|Omar Quintanilla, SS||Tearing it up in spring training, Quintanilla is more importantly a known plus defender at short.|
|Anthony Recker, C||Call him Recking Ball. With a 1.409 OPS in 12 plate appearances, he's having a good spring.|
|Josh Satin, IF||Hitting .625/.727/.875 in very limited playing time, Satin is competing with Lutz, it appears, for the backup corner infielder gig.|
|Justin Turner, IF||Unless Turner stop being Turner, there's a good chance that he makes the team. Still, he might be completely unnecessary if, say, Lutz and Quintanilla are on the Opening Day squad.|
|Jordany Valdespin, 2B/OF||Speaking of players who might make Turner redundant, Jordany's having a great spring — Justin Verlander fastball to his nether regions aside.|