Projecting the Mets’ Opening Day roster, Jan. 8

Six weeks remain between now and Spring Training, though if you believe Sandy Alderson, not much is going to change with the Mets between then and now. So it seems like a fine time to make our first roster projection of the year.

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Without further ado:

Lineup:
CF Juan Lagares
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
1B Lucas Duda
RF Michael Cuddyer
LF Curtis Granderson

C  Travis d’Arnaud

SS Wilmer Flores

Barring injury, I don’t envision anything changing here between now and Opening Day. The Mets aren’t likely to bring in a new shortstop, and manager Terry Collins has already talked extensively about wanting Lagares to lead off. Even if the Mets face a left-hander on Opening Day (they won’t), these are probably the eight names you’ll see. It sounds like Cuddyer is a good bet to play right, shifting Granderson to left.

Bench:
C Anthony Recker
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
OF John Mayberry, Jr.

INF Ruben Tejada
INF Eric Campbell

Again, not much up for debate here. Recker and Nieuwenhuis are out of options, giving them huge advantages heading into camp. Tejada and Mayberry are veterans and close to locks. Campbell’s case is the weakest of the five, but his ability to play third base makes him all but a shoo-in as well. If Flores were not starting at shortstop, it would be a different story.

Rotation:
RHP Matt Harvey

RHP Jacob deGrom
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP Jon Niese
RHP Bartolo Colon

I’m not entirely convinced Harvey will be the Opening Day starter, though Collins may need to pry the ball out of his hand if not. This rotation assumes that the Mets will trade Dillon Gee between now and Opening Day.

Bullpen:
RHP Jenrry Mejia (CL)
RHP Jeurys Familia

RHP Vic Black
RHP Carlos Torres
LHP Josh Edgin
LHP Sean Gilmartin
RHP Rafael Montero

If for some reason the Mets do not trade Gee, he probably goes here instead of Montero. I’m projecting Gilmartin, a Rule 5 pick, to make the team over Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez, Jack Leathersich and whomever else the Mets bring into camp. But really, that spot is completely up for grabs, and a right-hander could ultimately claim it. I’m also projecting Bobby Parnell to begin the season on the disabled list, which does not require much of a leap of faith.

In the running:
C Johnny Monell*, INF Brandon Allen*, INF Dilson Herrera, INF Wilfredo Tovar, OF Alex Castellanos*, OF Matt den Dekker, OF Cesar Puello, RHP Buddy Carlyle*, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Erik Goeddel, RHP Cory Mazzoni, RHP Bobby Parnell, RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Dario Alvarez, LHP Jack Leathersich, LHP Steven Matz.

*Denotes non-roster invitee

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

3 Comments

I don’t think you can pencil in Campbell for that 25th spot. He offers little at the plate and his positional versatility is somewhat redundant now with Flores, Murphy, Cuddyer and Tejada all capable of manning 3B if necessary, Murphy, Mayberry and Cuddyer capable of manning 1B, and Nieuwenhuis and Mayberry as your spare outfielders with pop. What the club really needs is someone who can run and options are king in those final roster decisions. I think Puello (out of options) will push both Campbell and den Dekker to AAA because they have options. Whether or not Puello can hit is unknown, but he can most certainly run and field.

Reblogged this on MLB.com Blogs Central and commented:
With much of the country in the grip of winter chill, there’s nothing like thoughts of spring to warm us up. In his Mets Cetera blog, beat writer Anthony DiComo looks ahead to Opening Day to project the team’s starting lineup with six weeks to go to Spring Training.

Reblogged this on Mets Plus and commented:
Nieuwenhuis vs den Dekker should be an intersecting battle in Spring Training, as should Carlyle vs Gilmartin, however, the glaring error in that list is the guy in the eight hole, Wilmer Flores. Josh Lewin from WOR said compromising middle infield defense may be risky with Flores and Murphy, so it could make since to get a defensively sound shortstop instead of Flores.

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