The Make-the-Mets-O-Meter, Week 2

KOST candidate Matt den Dekker. - Chris Trotman

A look at the players trying to make the team's Opening Day roster.

With another week of spring training in the books and Opening Day just two weeks away, the Mets still have a few decision to make about their 25-man roster. Since the last Make-the-Mets-O-Meter, the Mets have sent a slew of players to minor league camp, all of whom have been removed from the tables below. Even with all of those players out of the picture, the Mets still have a few decisions to make.

Four-fifths of the team’s starting rotation seemed obvious a week ago, with Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee guaranteed jobs. But with the news that Jon Niese’s left elbow is hurting, there’s a chance that the lefty won’t be ready for Opening Day, even if the injury turns out to be as minor as he thinks it is.

In the bullpen, Bobby Parnell and Scott Rice were listed as locks last week. According to Terry Collins, Carlos Torres will join them, a decision that makes plenty of sense since he’s out of options and was effective for the Mets last year, especially as a relief pitcher. That leaves four bullpen spots open for now.

Travis d’Arnaud, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, David Wright, Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Josh Satin figure to have spots on the Opening Day roster. Even if there are some sources out there floating the idea of starting Lagares in the minors, it’d be a big—and bad—surprise if that actually happens.

Starting pitchers

Player Comment
John Lannan, LHP The Mets have just one left-handed relief pitcher left in camp in Scott Rice, which gives Lannan a leg up in terms of making the roster, even if that’s in a relief role. He’s pitched very well in Grapefruit League games, and that doesn’t hurt his cause, either.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Viewed as the leading candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation by many even before Niese’s elbow problem arose, Matsuzaka hasn’t been terrible in spring games and looks pretty likely to make the team.
Cory Mazzoni, RHP His spring stats will look awful until the season begins because of one nightmare outing, but Mazzoni impressed Terry Collins in relief on Saturday in Vegas. There’s at least a chance he could crack the Mets’ bullpen.
Jenrry Mejia, RHP Mejia had a rough go of it yesterday in Vegas, but it’s not yet definite that he’ll start the year in the minors or the bullpen. Of course, Niese missing any significant time would open the door for him to join the rotation.
Rafael Montero, RHP Although he’s been one of the most effective pitchers in camp, Montero is incredibly unlikely to make the team right out of the gate. Once the Mets have cleared the extra-year-of-control hurdle with him, he could be up with the team. Terry Collins suggested that Montero could make the Opening Day bullpen, but wasting that extra year of control for a few relief appearances would not be in line with the Mets’ handling of young pitchers in recent years.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP As good as Syndergaard looks in major league camp, it's all about the economics here. Expect to see him on the Harvey-Wheeler timeline, making his debut mid-season, especially since he has limited experience at Double-A or above.

Relief pitchers

Player Comment
Vic Black, RHP While Black has been considered a favorite for the bullpen since the beginning of spring, he’s struggling with control and has more walks than strikeouts in spring games. He’s no quite guaranteed a spot just yet.
Joel Carreno, RHP A week ago, Carreno had 5 strikeouts and zero walks. Now, he has 7 strikeouts and 5 walks. To the extent that spring training results matter, he’s gone in the wrong direction over the last seven days.
Jeurys Familia, RHP Familia continues to look very good in spring games and should be in the Opening Day bullpen.
Kyle Farnsworth, RHP Still struggling to throw even as hard as he did last year, Farnsworth is looking unlikely to make the team.
Gonzalez Germen, RHP The overall spring numbers are still a bit rough for Germen this spring. It’s not hard to see him starting the year in Vegas.
Ryan Reid, RHP With very bad results so far in spring games, Reid will probably be among the next group of pitchers cut from big league camp.
Miguel Socolovich, RHP He’s yet to allow a run in spring games and might stick around this competition for another week.
Jose Valverde, RHP Unlike Farnsworth, Valverde has been throwing about as hard as he did last season. That might not be hard enough for him to succeed as a major league pitcher, but it seems to give him a very good shot at making the roster.

Position players

Player Comment
Brandon Allen, 1B Allen joined the Mets’ troupe of limping first basemen and got his very own walking boot. With Davis and Duda getting a little closer to fully participating in games, his chance of cracking the roster is probably gone.
Andrew Brown, OF With a couple of home runs and a .567 slugging percentage in spring games, Brown could still be in the mix for the fifth outfield spot.
Eric Campbell, OF/1B/3B He’s hit well enough in spring games to get a longer look as a bench player.
Juan Centeno, C Centeno still hasn’t played much but will probably stick in big league camp as the Mets need at least four catchers for split-squad action on March 23.
Matt Clark, 1B With all of the first base injuries, Clark has gotten a lot of playing time but hasn’t done a lot at the plate.
Ike Davis, 1B It still seems like Davis will get the first shot at first base if healthy.
Matt den Dekker, OF He’s making noise with his bat so far and might have a shot at the fifth outfield spot. His highly-rated defense in center field figures to be less of a factor now, though, with the Mets’ current cast of outfielders.
Lucas Duda, 1B Duda and Davis are working on coming back together, and at this point, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they mirror each other the rest of the way just to make things as difficult as possible on the Mets’ decision-makers.
Wilmer Flores, 2B Unless he convinces the Mets he can be a non-liability at shortstop, which seems unlikely, Flores should probably get regular playing time at second base in Vegas to begin the year.
Zach Lutz, 1B/3B One of the better hitters in camp, Lutz leads the Mets with 3 home runs. He’s still blocked by Satin, though, and doesn’t have a clear role on the big league team otherwise.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF Like den Dekker, Nieuwenhuis is battling for that last outfield spot and is raking in Grapefruit League games. He’s a left-handed hitter, too, which differentiates the two from Brown and Campbell.
Omar Quintanilla, SS With Tejada still the team’s everyday shortstop, Quintanilla still seems like the most likely backup. Let’s hope that changes between now and Opening Day.
Anthony Recker, C He’s still the presumed backup to Travis d’Arnaud.
Anthony Seratelli, IF With a good amount of playing time, Seratelli is still struggling in spring games.
Taylor Teagarden, C It’s probably the same story for Teagarden as it is for Centeno, but he’s gotten far more playing time in spring games.

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