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Who makes the 2016 Mets Postseason rosters?

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Who should make a potential Mets Wild Card roster? How about an NLDS roster? We looked at all of the possibilities.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a number of injuries to key players, the Mets have clinched the top Wild Card spot. Roster and organizational depth have helped keep this team in the hunt all season long and a few crucial in-season acquisitions have bolstered key spots where the club was lacking. It’s a real testament to the depth that the Mets had this year that they even have this shot given the barrage of injuries.

Looking ahead to the postseason, that depth can be both a blessing and a curse. The Mets, who have played most of September with an expanded active roster, suddenly will find themselves having to cut down to 25 once again on Wednesday. That creates some difficult decisions for Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, and a Mets team that has mixed and matched so much this past month.

With this in mind, let’s look ahead to the possibilities of the Mets postseason roster.

We’ll begin with the Wild Card roster and the players that would appear to be locks for that game. Since this roster is in place for just the Wild Card game, the Mets will have the ability to save three, maybe even four spots by leaving starting pitchers off, if they choose:

CATCHERS INFIELD OUTFIELD STARTING PITCHERS RELIEF PITCHERS
Travis d'Arnaud Jose Reyes Yoenis Cespedes Noah Syndergaard Jeurys Familia
Rene Rivera Asdrubal Cabrera Jay Bruce Addison Reed
T.J. Rivera Curtis Granderson Jerry Blevins
Lucas Duda Fernando Salas
Kelly Johnson Hansel Robles

That’s 16 players, leaving 9 spots to fill out the bench and the bullpen. There’s a lot of possibilities here, depending on how you want to stock the roster. Noah Syndergaard will start the Wild Card game, which means that Bartolo Colon will most likely be saved for a potential (fingers crossed) NLDS Game 1 start and off the Wild Card roster.

The first question for me is what to do with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. Would you add one of them to the bullpen as an insurance policy in the event that Syndergaard just doesn’t have it that night? Game Two of the NLDS doesn’t take place until Saturday, October 8 and Game Three not until Monday, October 10th. With the Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 5, the Mets could go this way if they want. To be honest, Gsellman or Lugo are probably more reliable out of the pen than guys down the depth chart like Goeddel or Henderson.

The other question is about the bench: how many players should the Mets carry and who? In a Wild Card game, it seems like Alejandro De Aza and Michael Conforto probably have strong cases to make the roster. With Jose Reyes on the roster, there’s less of a need for a true backup shortstop, which would allow room for a true pinch hitter (Loney?) or pinch runner/defensive replacement (Lagares?) to make it instead of somebody like Matt Reynolds. Of course, the odds of Eric Campbell making the roster, given Terry Collins’ infatuation with him, are...oh god, gonna be sick.

That’s just the Wild Card game, of course. Should the Mets win that game and move onto the NLDS, the roster questions get even tougher because they’ll have to add all of the starting pitchers back to the roster. So here are potential locks for the NLDS:

Catchers Infield Outfield Starting Pitchers Relief Pitchers
Travis d'Arnaud Jose Reyes Yoenis Cespedes Noah Syndergaard Jeurys Familia
Rene Rivera Asdrubal Cabrera Jay Bruce Bartolo Colon Addison Reed
T.J. Rivera Curtis Granderson Robert Gsellman Jerry Blevins
Lucas Duda Seth Lugo Fernando Salas
Kelly Johnson Hansel Robles

That’s already 19 out of a possible 25 players spoken for on the roster. Barring late injury, Rene Rivera and d’Arnaud are pretty clearly going to be the two catchers. On the infield, T.J. Rivera seems like a solid bet to play 2nd base with Wilmer Flores injured and a healthy, productive Lucas Duda has to be the starter at 1st base. In the outfield, Jay Bruce’s hot series in Miami and Philadelphia is a good sign after a mostly futile two months and that likely punches his ticket in RF. Let’s face it, they weren't leaving the big trade deadline acquisition off the roster unless they absolutely had to.

Moving on to the pitching, the rotation, as mentioned above, is pretty clear given that teams usually roll with four starters and Syndergaard, Colon, Gsellman, and Lugo are the Mets’ best healthy starting pitchers. And the bullpen has five arms that are locks.

This leaves just six open spots on the Mets’ 25-man NLDS roster with a number of possibilities. Let’s look at the players who are left on the bubble:

Catchers Infield Outfield Pitchers
Kevin Plawecki James Loney Alejandro De Aza Josh Smoker
Gavin Cecchini Michael Conforto Josh Edgin
Eric Campbell Juan Lagares Erik Goeddel
Matt Reynolds Ty Kelly Jim Henderson
Brandon Nimmo Gabriel Ynoa
Sean Gilmartin
Rafael Montero
Logan Verrett

The outfield situation is going to be really interesting, as De Aza, Conforto, and Lagares all have arguments as to why they can make the roster. Lagares’ defensive prowess in center field is unmatched, while De Aza has been a useful pinch hitter at .245/.344/.377 this season, and Conforto clearly has the most offensive upside of all three. Personally, I’d leave De Aza behind and take Lagares and Conforto on the roster since Lagares’s defense in center and Conforto’s bat are likely both better than De Aza but that may not be the way they're leaning.

Taking those two outfielders would leave the Mets with a bench of Conforto, Lagares, Kelly Johnson, and the backup catcher. They could probably stand to add one more bench player to that group, perhaps a righty infield option. Ty Kelly? Matt Reynolds? Campbell? (gulp). Unless they want Loney as a pinch hitter and insurance for Duda’s back but that seems like an awful lot of lefties, not to mention Loney plays just one position.

That gives the Mets 22 players and three more spots left open, likely in the bullpen behind the five locks up above. Josh Smoker seems like a strong bet to make it as the second lefty to Jerry Blevins and I nearly added him as a lock up above for the NLDS and the Wild Card game. That leaves spots for two more relievers.

So which way should the Mets go? Should they go with short relievers in Goeddel and Henderson? One short reliever and one long reliever like Gabriel Ynoa? Another lefty in Josh Edgin? How about the bench? Did I pick the right options? Give us your choices for the Wild Card and NLDS rosters down below in the comments!