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Totally Premature Mets Roster Speculation

Just over a week remains until the onset of Spring Training, and while the Make-The-Mets-O-Meter is not quite ready for its 2010 debut, it's never too early to start rosterbating. Sprinkled liberally in between a colorful assortment of public-relations snafus, the Mets shed some players from their 2009 squad and replaced them, for better or worse, with different guys. Here's what we know so far.

Starting pitchers

We've got Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez all as locks for the rotation. Whatever you think of them -- the latter two in particular -- this is what one-through-four will look like so long as unforeseen (or perhaps entirely foreseen) injuries don't step in and derail that plan. Santana is a year older and missed the last month of the 2009 season following arthroscropic surgery on his throwing elbow, but barring a precipitous decline he should still be very good. Mike Pelfrey's ERA blew up last year but his xFIP was basically unchanged, and with some better luck on his flyballs -- specifically, them not turning into homeruns -- he should put up 2008-like numbers. I like John Maine but I'm not bullish on his outlook for this year or subsequent years. He'll be good if his arm doesn't fall off, but that's a big 'if'. Oliver Perez is kaljskljdaflsd.f.......... *blerp*.

Starting infielders

David Wright and his presumably chiseled pecs will be back at third where they all belong, hopefully passing on Citi-Field-specific hitting tips and just going at it as he has in the past. His HR/FB took a nosedive last year, plummeting from 16.7% in 2008 all the way down to 6.9%. Some of that was the ballpark; the rest of it, who knows? Even if it rebounds to the 10-12% range -- and not all the way back to his 13.9% career mark -- he should still see a nice bump in homeruns.

Jose Reyes is healthy and rearing to go, and the Mets need him to get back to the five-win shortstop monster he was from 2006-2008.

Luis Castillo is all we've got at second right now. Orlando Hudson is off the market; Felipe Lopez is still out there, and while I haven't read anything specifically linking him to the Mets, Joel Sherman hasn't yet told me that Lopez would never sign with the Mets so we'll just keep him on the 'maybe' list for now.

Daniel Murphy, a perfectly capable utility player, is apparently your starting firstbaseman. How does that taste? If it's any consolation, Fernando Tatis might get some reps over there against tough lefties, so there's that.

Starting outfielders

Carlos Beltran Angel Pagan is expected to be given the starting centerfielder job while Carlos Beltran is on the mend, which is a much better thing than giving the spot to GMJ. Jason Bay was the big free agent signing of the offseason and he'll be in left, providing top-notch offense and, I'm told, he has agreed to stand in the outfield with a glove on one hand, which is probably the best we can hope for at this point. Jeff Francoeur will presumably be in rightfield once he gets back from bat-shopping with Chris Coghlan.


Omir Santos and Henry Blanco. Does it matter who's the starter and who's the backup?

Relief pitchers

Francisco Rodriguez will be there. Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, Kelvim Escobar, and Ryota Igarashi are locks.

Bench guys

Alex Cora and Gary Matthews Jr, plus the aforementioned Tatis.


That's 21 players who are basically guaranteed spots on the Opening Day roster, which leaves us with four spots left unclaimed. Here are some of the more in-house options.

Other pitchers

We've got Fernando Nieve, Jon Niese, Nelson Figueroa, Pat Misch, Josh Fogg, Tobi Stoner, and Bobby Parnell -- plus guys like Clint Everts, Eddie Kunz, and Jay Marshall -- as many as three of which could make the team out of Spring Training. One of them will be the fifth starter, but the Mets have two days off in the first two weeks so they could reasonably do without that last starter until 4/19, which would give them an extra hitter or reliever in the interim. Jon Niese should really be given a shot at that last spot; he clearly has the most upside of anyone on this list, and nothing against Figueroa and company, but there'll be something more exciting about watching Niese pitch than any of the rest of these guys. This of course means he'll be promptly shipped to Buffalo.

Other hitters

Nick Evans, Anderson Hernandez, Chris Carter, Shawn Bowman, Fernando Martinez. Andy Green and Mike Hessman are probably longer shots, in part because they're not on the 40-man roster and the Mets wouldn't want to make a personnel move and risk losing Jack Egbert or Arturo Lopez. A couple of interesting names in there, but apart from Martinez, who will likely begin the season in Triple-A, this is an especially unsexy bunch.


Comment starter: You've got four spots to fill; who are your picks for the 25-man roster?