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Mets to install newer, bigger scoreboard at Citi

This, edited down from the Mets:

The Mets announced today they are installing a new Daktronics high definition Citi Field centerfield video board that is 62% larger than the original screen. The new board, set to debut on Opening Day, April 13, will measure 5,670 square feet (Up from 3,500 square feet).

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The installation puts the Mets in the top 10 largest displays in professional baseball and makes Citi Field one of the few baseball venues to feature more than one video capable LED display in the seating bowl. The installation brings the total square footage of all displays in the Mets’ super-system to more than 17,000 square feet. The previous total square footage was 13,500, and replacing older technology is providing a total of 7,000 square feet of new video display technology.

“As we look forward to a great season on the field in 2015, these significantly bigger and higher resolution video boards are state-of-the-art in size and LED technology and re-inforce our commitment to provide our fans a superior experience when attending games at Citi Field,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

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Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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.

When Stuart Scott met Mr. Met

Like so many young sports nuts, I grew up watching Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen on SportsCenter. In the 90s, our local newspaper often didn’t carry scores from baseball games on the West Coast, or even sometimes from games that ran late back East. Watching 10 minutes of Scott and Eisen before school every morning was must-see television, helping to foster my love of sports.

I won’t eulogize here — plenty around the internet who knew the man have already done so far better than I could. But I wanted to share this fun commercial from back in 2009, when Mr. Met met Scott.

Rest in peace, Stuart.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Wanted: Mets Inbox submissions

Do you have a question you’d like answered on Mets.com? A concern? Just looking to procrastinate at the office coming off a long holiday break? I’ll be running an Inbox soon and want to answer your questions.

Fill out this form to participate. And be sure to fill out all three boxes, including your first name and last initial, so we can use your question on the site.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

In pictures: Duda does Japan

My notebook wasn’t the only tool I brought to Japan with me. Check below for a collage of some of the best Duda pics I snapped across the Pacific:

dudacollageFollow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Turning Japanese? I really think so.

You may have noticed a conspicuous absence in this space the past couple weeks, as I traveled to Japan to cover the Major League Baseball All-Star Series. Though only one Met — first baseman Lucas Duda — made the trip, I hope you’ll appreciate all of the coverage anyway. The full list is here, with some of the highlights below:

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Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Uniform changes aplenty for Mets

The Mets unveiled a series of uniform changes this morning, ditching their creamsicle pinstripe and plain white home uniforms for a bright white pinstriped model. They also introduced two new caps: a white-on-orange-on-blue model, as well as an orange-themed Mr. Met batting practice cap:

metsjerseys2015

metscaps2015Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

Wanted: Mets Inbox submissions

Do you have a question you’d like answered on Mets.com? I’ll be running an Inbox soon and want to answer your questions.

Fill out this form to participate. And be sure to fill out all three boxes, because otherwise we won’t be able to use your question on the site.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo

What might a Mets playoff roster look like?

Imagine if the Mets had made the playoffs this season. Given so many season-ending injuries and so much roster uncertainty, constructing a capable playoff roster would be a monumental task. Here’s a stab at what one might have looked like:

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Catcher: Anthony Recker, Juan Centeno
Travis d’Arnaud
had surgery earlier this week to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, in what sounded like a painful injury. It’s doubtful d’Arnaud would have been able to contribute to the playoff push, leaving the Mets stuck with Recker and Centeno. Top prospect Kevin Plawecki, even if ready (he’s not), would not have been eligible for the postseason roster.

Infield: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Wilmer Flores, David Wright, Ruben Tejada, Eric Campbell
A monster plot line would have been Wright’s left shoulder health heading into the playoffs. Assuming an in-contention Mets team would have shut their third baseman down at the same point they actually did this September, Wright would now be two weeks into a six-week rehab and strengthening program. Would that have been enough for the Mets to carry him on their postseason roster? Perhaps they would have proceeded how the Nationals are with Ryan Zimmerman, using him off the bench with potential for a spot start against left-handed pitching.

Outfield: Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Matt den Dekker, Eric Young Jr.
Granderson and Nieuwenhuis are locks, while Young provides the late-inning speed that most playoff teams crave off the bench. The big question here would have been the health of Lagares, who sprained his right elbow late in September. If Lagares was not ready to go, the Mets would have been forced to use Nieuwenhuis in center on an everyday basis (assuming he had fully recovered from the infection that hospitalized him over the season’s final weekend — yeesh, the Mets really were a mess heading into October).

Rotation: Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee
Sorry, Matt Harvey, but the Mets would certainly have mimicked the 2012 Nationals, who lost a five-game Division Series to the Cardinals while Tommy John patient Stephen Strasburg sat unused on the bench. Though Harvey likely would have protested both publicly and privately, the Mets would not sacrifice any part of his future for this fictional playoff run.

Sorry, also, to Rookie of the Year favorite Jacob deGrom, who rubbed up against an innings limit late in September. DeGrom had a few innings left at the end of the season, but not enough to start. Instead, the Mets might have placed him in the…

Bullpen: Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Carlos Torres, deGrom, Buddy Carlyle, Rafael Montero, Dario Alvarez
Mejia, Familia, Edgin and Torres would have been the four locks, with deGrom a strong bet to make this group as long as he was not starting. Injuries to Vic Black and Dana Eveland may have been serious enough for the Mets to give them more rest, perhaps hoping to add them to the roster in later rounds. That left room for both Caryle and Montero, another rookie up against an innings limit. Though Alvarez did not do much to distinguish himself in September, Terry Collins would have adored the idea of a second left-hander in his bullpen.

Snubs: Harvey (have to protect that shoulder), Black (likewise), Eveland (his elbow was cranky), d’Arnaud (too injured), Bobby Abreu (too ineffective), Dilson Herrera (not quite ready at age 20), Gonzalez German (the Mets had better options).

Mets WAR leaders, end of season

Highest and lowest Mets WAR scores in 2014, according to the web sites Fangraphs and Baseball Reference:

Fangraphs
1. Juan Lagares, 3.8
2. Lucas Duda, 3.3
3. Jacob deGrom, 3.0
4. Daniel Murphy, 2.6

5. Bartolo Colon, 2.1

41-(t). John Lannan, -0.4
41-(t). Omar Quintanilla, -0.4

41-(t). Scott Rice, -0.4
44. Chris Young, -0.6
45. Gonzalez Germen, -0.7

Baseball Reference
1. Lagares, 5.5
2. Duda, 3.7
3. deGrom, 3.1

4. David Wright, 2.8
5. Murphy, 2.0

40-(t). Juan Centeno, -0.3
40-(t). Josh Satin, -0.3
42-(t). Lannan, -0.4
42-(t). Rice, -0.4

44. Bobby Abreu, -0.6
45. Jose Valverde, -0.8

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