The Make-the-Mets-O-Meter, Week 1

Chris McShane

Amazin' Avenue takes a look at the spring training competition for a few of the Mets' roster spots.

The Make-the-Mets-O-Meter is back for 2014! As always, this is Amazin’ Avenue’s look at which players will make the Mets’ Opening Day roster. The arrows included in this series are not necessarily indicative of spring performance, as some players in major league camp simply won’t make the team to start this season. If odds are your thing, the up arrow is better than 50 percent, or "pretty, pretty, pretty good," the blue arrow is roughly 50-50, and the red arrow is well under 50 percent.

Also, players who are locks to make the team won’t appear in this series. For starting pitchers, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee constitute four-fifths of the team’s rotation. In the bullpen, Bobby Parnell and Scott Rice are locks. While a couple other relief pitchers seem highly likely to make the team, they’re included below for now. As for position players, the following will obviously be on the roster, assuming no players are acquired or traded away: Travis d’Arnaud, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, David Wright, Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Josh Satin.

In total, that leaves one open spot in the starting rotation, five spots in the bullpen, and four other spots: left-handed first baseman, backup catcher, backup middle infielder, and fifth outfielder. Here, then, is the first installment of the Make-the-Mets-O-Meter, broken down by category.

Starting pitchers

Player Comment
Jacob deGrom, RHP With 6 strikeouts, one walk, and two hits allowed in six innings, deGrom’s been impressive early in Grapefruit League play. He still seems like a longshot for the major league rotation, though.
John Lannan, LHP With good early results and the experience that Terry Collins apparently desires, Lannan will probably be in the mix for a rotation spot until the bitter end.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Daisuke’s early 4.50 ERA could be a whole lot worse, as he’s allowed an alarming number of baserunners in spring games. Of course, Collins has talked him up alongside Lannan.
Steven Matz, LHP The Long Island lefty has been downright impressive with five strikeouts and one walk in two spring innings. With no experience above Single-A, though, he’s got some developing to do before he sees the Mets’ active roster.
Cory Mazzoni, RHP It would take a long streak of consecutive perfect innings to make Mazzoni’s spring look good on paper. He won’t be on the Opening Day roster but could pop up sometime this season.
Jenrry Mejia, RHP Mejia should be in the Mets’ Opening Day rotation, and his first spring outing went well. Here’s hoping he continues to excel in these exhibition games, as it might make it harder for the Mets not to give him the job.
Rafael Montero, RHP Montero’s performance has been very good, but it’s hard to imagine the Mets would sacrifice a full extra year of control on his major league career by putting him in the Opening Day rotation. He’ll see the big leagues this year, but it would be a shock if he did so before the end of April.
Logan Verrett, RHP Likely a Las Vegas 51 at the start of the season, Verrett struggled in his lone spring training outing.

Relief pitchers

Player Comment
Vic Black, RHP If there’s a knock on Black, it’s that he can struggle with walks at times. He’s had more walks than strikeouts in the early going, but he doesn’t seem likely to miss out on a bullpen spot.
Chase Bradford, RHP The Mets’ first Bradford since Chad hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game yet and figures to begin the year in the minors.
Joel Carreno, RHP Carreno’s 5 strikeouts and zero walks stand out in a very crowded bullpen competition. A minor league signing over the winter, he seemingly has a real shot a making the team, especially if a couple of other pitchers in camp falter.
John Church, RHP Church has struggled early and likely isn’t among the contenders in this group.
Josh Edgin, LHP The lefty hasn’t looked good in three appearances, and he’s pitched to poor results. At 27 years old, he can’t be written off, but it would be a surprise if the Mets took him north at the end of the month.
Jeurys Familia, RHP So far, so good for one of the Mets’ former top pitching prospects. He’ll have to limit walks if he’s going to stick at the major league level, of course.
Kyle Farnsworth, RHP Although he’s gotten by just fine in four innings, Farnsworth isn’t throwing as hard as he did last year yet. As a veteran with somewhat recent success in the big leagues, he’ll get a long look, but he’s far from a lock this early in camp.
Gonzalez Germen, RHP It’s been rough for Germen thus far, but his major league experience last year might give him a leg up if he rounds into form by the end of spring.
Erik Goeddel, RHP Recently moved to the bullpen by the Mets, Goeddel has had a hard time against spring competition.
Adam Kolarek, LHP The Mets could use a second lefty in the bullpen, but Kolarek is not yet busting down the door.
Jack Leathersich, LHP While his minor league strikeout rate is very appealing, Leathersich struggled after a promotion to Vegas last year and will probably have ot figure that level out before joining the Mets.
Ryan Reid, RHP Claimed from the Pirates earlier in the offseason, Reid has struggled in his first few spring appearances.
Miguel Socolovich, RHP A darkhorse in the bullpen race, Socolovich has thrown four scoreless innings, though he has just one strikeout, in spring games.
Jeff Walters, RHP Walters hasn’t walked or struck out any opposing hitters, but he’s been effective in three-and-one-third innings. He’s at least still in the mix here.
Jose Valverde, RHP At minimum, Valverde hasn’t been a disaster in the first week of games. Like Farnsworth, he’ll get a long look until the team sets its roster.

Position players

Player Comment
Brandon Allen, 1B If Davis and Duda are both injured by Opening Day, perhaps Allen would make the team. Otherwise, he’ll provide depth at Triple-A, especially if the Mets are ever able to trade one of the other two.
Andrew Brown, OF If the Mets desire power in their fifth outfielder, Brown could win the job. He hasn’t put up big spring numbers yet, though.
Eric Campbell, OF/1B/3B One of the better hitters in games so far, Campbell is Brown’s obvious competition, as he’s also an older minor league right-handed hitter.
Juan Centeno, C The fact that Centeno has hardly played in spring games seems indicative of where he’ll start the year: Vegas.
Matt Clark, 1B Like Allen, Clark’s shot at making the roster is the "everyone else is hurt" scenario. That’s not impossible, of course.
Ike Davis, 1B So long as a bum calf doesn’t put him on the disabled list, it sure seems like first base it Ike’s job to lose.
Matt den Dekker, OF Probably destined for Vegas for regular playing time, den Dekker is hitting very well in spring games so far.
Lucas Duda, 1B If Duda were healthy right now, it might help him overtake Davis in the race for first base, but a hamstring issue has him sidelined.
Wilmer Flores, 2B It’s hard to see Flores fitting on the roster unless Daniel Murphy is really hurt, and he’d probably benefit from playing every day in Vegas.
Dustin Lawley, OF The 24-year-old has very limited experience above Single-A St. Lucie, and he’s not tearing the cover off the ball in the early going, either.
Zach Lutz, 1B/3B Lutz is, unfortunately, entirely redundant with Josh Satin on the roster.
Daniel Muno, 2B A middle infielder who’s mostly shifted to second base, Muno would be at least third on the team’s depth chart at the position right now.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Though he’s getting on base at a decent clip, there’s not an obvious need for his type of outfielder on the roster.
Brandon Nimmo, OF Like many other prospects in camp, Nimmo’s with the big league team to get a taste of higher levels of competition. He might very well turn into something, but he won’t be making the team this spring.
Kevin Plawecki, C Same as Nimmo.
Cesar Puello, OF After an impressive season last year, Puello has raked in spring games. It’d be a surprise to see him crack the roster before at least a month or two in Vegas, but he looks like he might be close.
Omar Quintanilla, SS Until the Mets acquire someone to displace Ruben Tejada at shortstop, Quintanilla has a shot at making the team.
Anthony Recker, C It’s seemed since the beginning of spring training that Recker had the backup catcher’s gig to himself, and that hasn’t changed.
Anthony Seratelli, IF The New Jersey product hasn’t played in the big leagues yet but has gotten a chance to play in these games. He just hasn’t done a ton to impress at the plate yet.
Taylor Teagarden, C Formerly a top-end catching prospect, Teagarden will probably split time with Centeno at Vegas to begin the year.
Wilfredo Tovar, SS There’s a chance that Tovar could be a glove-first major league shortstop, but he probably isn’t quite there yet.
Cory Vaughn, OF Not added to the forty-man roster over the winter, Vaughn has gotten a little taste of big league spring training, but he needs more success in the upper minors before making the jump to the Mets.

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