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Report: Mets' Roster, Likely Lineup Set

Per, the Mets' Opening Day roster and lineup are basically set.

Batting order:
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Paul Lo Duca, C
3. Carlos Beltran, CF
4. Carlos Delgado, 1B
5. David Wright, 3B
6. Cliff Floyd, LF
7. Xavier Nady, RF
8. Anderson Hernandez, 2B

Rotation: Game 1: Glavine
Game 2: Zambrano or Brian Bannister
Game 3: Martinez
Game 4: Steve Trachsel
Game 5: Glavine
Game 6: Bannister, unless he started the second game

Bullpen: Closer: Billy Wagner
Setup relievers: Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Chad Bradford, Jorge Julio and Pedro Feliciano

Reserves: Chris Woodward, Julio Franco, Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Victor Diaz and Jose Valentin.

The lineup is subject to change, I am sure. I'll count myself among the detractors when Willie (or was it Omar?) speculated that Paul Lo Duca might bat second. His on-base skills are not great, and he doesn't really hit for much in the way of power. Having watched a bit of him this spring, I have to admit that I have been impressed with his strike zone judgement (this is something quite different from plate discipline), and his situational hitting. The situational hitting is not something you would choose to have in place of better performance, but given two players with similar batting profiles (on-base, slugging, speed), the player who strikes out less and can move runners along is certainly preferable.

The Mets will be heading North with eleven pitchers and a six-man bench. There are a number of early off-days in April, so carrying an extra bullpen arm probably isn't as important as it might be a month from now. I suspect once the games become more tightly-packed that we will see some changes, likely Victor Diaz or Endy Chavez being sent to Norfolk and, with any luck, Heath Bell getting the call-up to round out the pitching staff.

The Mets will have a workout at Shea Stadium tomorrow (Sunday) before Monday's Opening Day, in which 1986 World Champion batterymates Jesse Orosco and Gary Carter will exchange the ceremonial first pitch before an offseason of promise is officially set into motion