Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Spring Training is in full swing for the Mets in Port St. Lucie, with games starting in just four days.
While every member of the team has arrived in camp, some (Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes to name two) don't appear to be on track to be ready for game action when the bell rings on Saturday.
Going by the above, listening to manager Luis Rojas talk, and reading between the lines, here's our roster prediction 3.0...
Wilson Ramos, C
Pete Alonso, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Amed Rosario, SS
Jeff McNeil, 3B
J.D. Davis, LF
Brandon Nimmo, CF
Michael Conforto, RF
Nothing has changed here since our second roster prediction, and -- barring injury (fingers crossed) -- it's likely that nothing will change.
The infield is set and center field and right field are set. Left field is where the only intrigue lies, with a recharged and healthy-looking Yoenis Cespedes (more on him below) potentially challenging J.D. Davis.
As has been the case since December, the Mets have six big league starting pitchers for five big league spots. They're not going to have a six-man rotation, so something has to give.
The thought since the signings of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha has been that Porcello is pretty much guaranteed a spot in the rotation. That leaves Wacha (who has incentives in his contract that are tied to a relief role) as the likely odd man out. However, it wouldn't be stunning if Matz wound up in the bullpen instead.
Speaking about the situation last week, Luis Rojas was unwilling to commit to anyone beyond Jacob deGrom being in the rotation (although we know Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman will also be in there). Expanding on that, Rojas cited Wacha and Matz as the only two of the group with experience in the bullpen. That likely tells us all we need to know about who the potential bullpen candidates are.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF
Jake Marisnick, OF
Luis Guillorme, INF
Dominic Smith, 1B/OF
Tomas Nido, C
Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full-team workout on Monday, has been hitting bombs in batting practice, and looks to be progressing well. Things could hit a snag, but at this point, he seems healthy enough and agile enough to be at least a bench piece.
While Jed Lowrie is in camp and participating in drills, he is doing so with a huge brace on his left knee. And with Brodie Van Wagenen saying Tuesday that it's unclear whether Lowrie will be able to play in games with that brace, it seems highly unlikely that he'll be on the roster to start the year.
And there are two changes...
The first is Dominic Smith (who has been the subject of trade rumors) being added in place of Matt Adams.
The second is Tomas Nido (who is out of options) being added as the backup catcher in place of Rene Rivera.
Ramos, who has been making a concerted effort to improve his rapport with the pitching staff, has been paired with Syndergaard at times during camp, and it doesn't seem like the Mets are prepared to stop having Ramos catch him. So Rivera -- Thor's personal favorite -- could be opening the year in Triple-A Syracuse.
As is the case with the regular starting lineup, there really shouldn't be any change here, barring injury.
The only possible adjustment would be swapping in Matz for Wacha.