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In photos: Mets equipment truck leaves for Port St. Lucie

Nine days until pitchers and catchers. The surest sign? The equipment truck rumbled out of Citi Field early this afternoon (photos courtesy of the Mets):

TRUCK_LEV7334TRUCK_MET5340Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

Travis d’Arnaud leads host of Mets number-changers

Several prominent Mets will have new uniform numbers when camp opens later this month. The list, with old numbers in parentheses:

metspitcherspopupdrillCatcher Travis d’Arnaud – 7 (15)
Bench coach Bob Geren – 15 (7)
Catcher Kevin Plawecki – 22 (72)
First baseman Brandon Allen – 30 (60)
Pitcher Noah Syndergaard – 34 (55)
Pitcher Buddy Carlyle – 43 (44)
Pitcher Cory Mazzoni – 47 (75)
Pitcher Jack Leathersich – 51 (81)
Infielder Danny Muno – 74 (64)

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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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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

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