Predict the Mets’ Opening Day roster

The Mets open up spring training with a game against the Nationals on Saturday, which will begin the turning of the wheels in the mind of manager Terry Collins.

He’ll have his first look at his team in a game scenario and has a month to decide on the roster he will begin the regular season with.

A superstar like David Wright will certainly be on the opening day roster, pending any sort of injury.

Non-roster invites such as Marlon Byrd and Scott Atchison will do everything they can to secure a spot on the squad, which should make for some interesting competitions throughout the spring.

It will be up to Collins and his coaching staff to assess the talent they have and who will give them the best chance to win in 2013.

It all starts here and the decisions the staff make will be crucial as every win counts.

Every baseball fan has their opinions on who should make the team and why, so here is a platform for all of you Mets’ fans out there to tell us who the team should be on April.1

List your starting line-up, rotation, bullpen and bench in the comments section and be prepared to answer why you made these predictions if someone asks. A comment like “Well, he has a cool name,” will not suffice. Sorry Jordany Valdespin.

Bryan Mcwilliam’s Opening Day Roster:

Starters (in predicted batting order)

CF – Kirk Nieuwenhuis
2B – Daniel Murphy
3B – David Wright
1B – Ike Davis
LF – Lucas Duda
C – John Buck
RF – Marlon Byrd
SS – Ruben Tejada

Collins will give Nieuwenhuis a big chance at the team’s leadoff spot and he’ll be there come opening day if he turns in a decent spring. The Mets are not sold on Tejada leading off and Nieuwenhuis produced better numbers (.264, 5HR in 32 games) out of the lead off spot as opposed to .242 with 2HR in 59 games elsewhere in the line-up.

Byrd also cracks the starting line-up above. The veteran will turn things around and have a strong enough spring to beat out Baxter for the opening day job in right field.

Rotation

LHP – Johan Santana
RHP – Shaun Marcum
LHP – Jonathon Niese
RHP – Dillon Gee
RHP – Matt Harvey

There are really no surprises in the rotation. Unless Zack Wheeler looks filthy in spring or an injury occurs to one of these players, you can almost bet the house on the Mets using this starting five to begin the year.

Bullpen

RHP – Bobby Parnell
RHP – Brandon Lyon
RHP – LaTroy Hawkins
RHP – Scott Atchison
LHP – Aaron Laffey
LHP – Josh Edgin
RHP – Greg Burke

Frank Francisco would be in the list above, but it doesn’t look like his elbow will be ready to start the season. Non-roster invites such as Hawkins, Atchison and Laffey are seasoned veterans. This gives them a leg up for roster spots to start the season, which is why they made this list.

Bench

C – Landon Powell
OF – Collin Cowgill
IF/OF – Justin Turner
IF – Brandon Hicks
OF – Mike Baxter

The catching battle between Anthony Recker and Landon Powell should be a good one, plus Travis d’Arnaud should also be included in this scenario. Powell has more experience and power than Recker, which could win him the back-up catching gig until d’Arnaud is ready to take it.

Now it’s your turn to play the role of opening day soothsayer and let us know your 25-man opening day roster in the comments section.

Predict away!

21 comments for “Predict the Mets’ Opening Day roster

  1. February 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Here is my wishful thinking lineup:

    1. Jordany Valdespin, RF (Because he plays too well this Spring)
    2. Ruben Tejada, SS
    3. David Wright, 3B
    4. Ike Davis, 1B
    5. Travis d’Arnaud, C (Because we’ve traded Buck)
    6. Lucas Duda, LF
    7. Daniel Murphy, 2B
    8. Kirk Niuwenhuis, CF

    Bench:
    Juan Centeno, C (Because he’s a lefty and a platoon makes more sense than Recker)
    Collin Cowgill, CF (Righty platoon with Niuewenhuis)
    Mike Baxter, 4th OF (1st Lefty Bat off bench)
    Zach Lutz, Util (1st Righty Bat off bench)
    Omar Quintanilla, IF (Defensive backup)

    Rotation:
    Jonathon Niese (Because he’s looking like our Ace)
    Shaun Marcum (Because he’s looked solid)
    Matt Harvey (Because he’s ready)
    Johan Santana (Because he gets a late start)
    Dillon Gee

    CL: Bobby Parnell
    SU: Frank Francisco
    SU: Josh Edgin (Because this should be his role)
    MR: Brandon Lyon
    MR: Robert Carson (Because Feliciano is done)
    MR: Greg Burke (He looks promising)
    LR: Jeremy Hefner (Because he’s an inning eater)

    • February 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      If I’ve been drinking heavily, you might be able to talk me into JV, starter. But no amount of alcohol will get me to sign off on JV, leadoff hitter.

  2. Scott
    February 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Well, first of all, the 2nd baseman for the Mets is Daniel Murphy not David Murphy.

    Secondly, I disagree with a few of your selections for the roster and the lineup. When all is said and done this spring, I believe Collin Cowgill will win at least a platoon role in RF with Baxter. They will share leadoff duties in April in a strict platoon, but Cowgill may win the job outright.

    CF I believe will be won outright by Marlon Byrd. Both he and Cowgill may switch between CF and RF until they get settled.

    If Nieuwenhuis is still striking out on high fastballs and hasn’t adjusted, he won’t even make the team, let alone start in CF. Nieu is on the hot seat this spring.

    The other guy who I believe will come out of nowhere to make the team and start some in the outfield is Andrew Brown. He is a righty with power and a solid arm in the outfield. The Mets need his righty power bat and his play out there.

    So, the outfield will be 5 or 6 guys… Duda, Brown, Byrd, Cowgill, Baxter and either nobody else or Nieuwenhuis.

    The infield is set with Davis, Murphy, Tejada and Wright. The backups, IMO, will be Turner and Quintanilla or Valdespin. I think Hicks will start the season in AAA.

    The rotation will be the same 5, but the order will be Santana, Marcum, Niese, Harvey and Gee, assuming Santana is healthy. I ‘ll believe he is healthy after I see him make 5 or 6 starts.

    The pen will be Francisco (who I think will be ready by April), Parnell, Lyon, Atchison, Edgin and Feliciano. These guys will beat out Hawkins and Laffey, who will both start in AAA Vegas. If Francisco is not ready to go, the last spot will go to Hefner, Familia, Carson or Hawkins.

    The biggest surprise on the roster will be Brown and Quintanilla, while Brown, Byrd and Cowgill will be big contributors in the OF for the Mets, and more than anyone is expecting.

    • February 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Yes, that should read Daniel Murphy, not sure what happened there, but it’s getting fixed.

      David Murphy is obviously an outfielder for the Rangers and Alex Murphy is obviously RoboCop.

  3. Marc Melton
    February 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I’m shocked Tejada isn’t getting a lot of predictions for batting 1st.

    1. Ruben Tejada, SS (only going to get better. .333 OBP leadoff last year
    2. Daniel Murphy, 2B (an ideal #2 hitter, puts the bat on the ball a lot)
    3. David Wright, 3B
    4. Ike Davis, 1B
    5. Lucas Duda, LF
    6. John Buck, C
    7. Mike Baxter, RF
    8. Kirk Niuwenhuis, CF or Matt Den Dekker, CF (platoon)

    Bench:
    Anthony Recker, C
    Jordany Valdespin, IF/OF (JUST PLEASE NOT AT SS)
    Omar Quintanilla, IF
    Justin Turner, IF/OF

    Rotation:
    Johan Santana
    Shaun Marcum
    Jon Niese
    Matt Harvey
    Dillon Gee

    CL: Bobby Parnell
    SU: Brandon Lyon
    SU: Frank Francisco
    MR: Carson/Byrdak/Feliciano (whatever lefty makes the team)
    MR: Scott Atchison
    MR: Josh Edgin
    LR: Jeremy Hefner

    I think d’Arnaud starts in AAA. I think Den Dekker gets a shot because of his defensive prowess, and because with Duda in LF and Baxter in RF we need all the help we can get. I don’t think Byrd or Hawkins makes the team.

    • HarryDoyle
      February 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      I don’t think Tejada should lead off against RHPs. He belongs in the #8 spot on those days. Baxter or Nieuwenhius should lead off against RHPs.

      • February 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

        Why are we platooning lefties in center?

        • Marc Melton
          February 22, 2013 at 4:57 pm

          Didn’t think about that. If Den Dekker has cut down his Ks at all I think he gets the spot outright and Niewenhuis splits LF and RF.

    • February 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Hey Marc I think Reuben’s lack of extra base hits and his ability to handle a bat makes him better suited for the 2 hole.

  4. HarryDoyle
    February 22, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    “Starting” Eight:
    C-Buck
    1B-Davis
    2B-Murphy (barring DL stint, but I think he’ll be fine)
    3B-Wright
    SS-Tejada
    LF-Duda
    CF-Nieuwenhuis (Platoon)
    RF-Baxter (Platoon)

    Bench:
    OF-Cowgill (CF platoon with Nieuwenhuis.)
    MI-Hicks (They need someone on the bench capable of playing SS. And he’s the only MIer out of options, so he’s a near lock.)
    CO/CI-Brown (RF platoon with Baxter. Plus, they can’t possibly go into the season without a RH backup 1B, right? Ike’s splits are abysmal. Could Lutz or Satin step up in ST?)
    OF-Byrd (This is a last minute change from Valdespin. They’ll keep the positive veteran presence instead of the nuisance.)
    C-Powell (Minor upset here since Recker’s on the 40-man. Experience and switch hitting give Powell the edge. Doubt Alderson loses sleep over exposing Recker to waivers.)

    Rotation:
    Santana, Marcum, Niese, Harvey, Gee

    Bullpen:
    Cl-Parnell (I think Francisco opens the season on the DL.)
    RH-Lyon (Guaranteed contract.)
    RH-Burke (They signed him in a hurry and put him on the 40-man for a reason. A Dickey-esque reinvented sidearming reliever.)
    RH-Atchison (Will have to outperform Hawkins.)
    LH-Edgin (Best LH option bar none.)
    LH-Carson (What’s this?! Do my eyes deceive me?! Two lefties in the Mets bullpen! Now I’ve seen everything! Feliciano eventually replaces him if he regains full arm strength.)
    LM-Hefner (It’s him or Laffey and Hefner’s on the 40-man, so Laffey would really have to outperform him.)

    Non-rosters to be added to 40-man: Brown, Byrd, Powell, Atchison
    Players to be cut from 40-man: Recker, Lutz, Francisco placed on DL, Turner traded for future considerations (Havens is also a candidate to be cut if they deem him never to be healthy again.)

    Most intriguing roster spot battle: Brown, Byrd, Valdespin, Turner, Lutz battle for two spots.

  5. Scott Mets Fan
    February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Everyday players: Wright, Murphy, tejada, Davis, Buck, Duda.
    Platoon: CF – Nieuwenheis and Cowgil, RF – Brown and Valdespin and Baxter (Collins will mix and match in RF)
    Bench : Hicks, Powell
    SP: Santana, Marcum, Harvey, Niese, Gee
    RP: Atchinson, Burke, Parnell, Edgin, Feliciano, Lyon, Laffey

    Not that sure about bullpen. Hawkins could easily make it and if Francisco is healthy he’s in. Feliciano could be done.
    I think Heffner will be traded. So will Turner.
    Hicks is out of options, has shown pop in the minors and is supposed to be a good fielder. With him on the team Turner is obsolete.
    Valdespin makes too much sense. He has speed, pop, can play multiple positions and showed he could PH.
    I could be wrong about Brown but he profiles as a guy we need: RH pop, strong arm in RF,solid fielder. If he has a good spring he’s in.

  6. Name
    February 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I’m not sure if Richards or Volquez will be the Pads opening day starter, so i’ll post 2 lineups. I’d personally lean towards Richards

    vs. Lefties
    1. Tejada SS
    2. Murphy 2b
    3. Wright 3b
    4. Ike 1B
    5. Buck C
    6. Duda LF
    7. Cowgill CF
    8. Baxter RF

    vs. Righties
    1. Baxter RF
    2. Murphy 2b
    3. Wright 3b
    4. Ike 1b
    5. Buck C
    6. Duda LF
    7. Kirk CF
    8. Tejada SS

    No point in arguging Starting 5, if healthy. I’ll list my next 3 in case 1 or more can’t start.
    #6 -Laffey
    #7 -McHugh
    #8 -Meija

    Bullpen:
    Cl-Franky frank
    SU-Parnell
    Atchison
    Burke
    Lyon
    Edgin
    Hefner

    Bench
    Turner
    Kirk/Cowgill
    Recker
    Hicks
    Valdespin

    Surprised at how much love Byrd is getting here. Remember Gary Matthews and Mike Jacobs? You shouldn’t because they were also washed up vets who made the Opening day roster but barely lasted two weeks.

  7. February 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I would rather see Tejada in the 2 hole giving the top of the order good speed in front of Wright and Davis. Put Murphy in the 5 hole so that Duda can see the patient hitter approach and maybe it will rub off. Buck hits 6th and Duda 7th and Baxter 8th
    1)Kirk
    2)Tejada
    3)Wright
    4)Davis
    5)Murphy
    6)Buck
    7)Duda
    8)Baxter

    • HarryDoyle
      February 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      I’m guessing that’s your lineup against RHP? I don’t like Tejada with his low OBP vs RHP batting 2nd. And I don’t think he has any more speed than Baxter, who’s much better vs RHP. Tejada should either bat leadoff vs LHP and 8th vs RHP, or he should bat 8th vs both.

  8. Eric
    February 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Kirk/Cowgill CF (strict platoon, like mookie and lenny. Both could get action in right or left as well)
    Tejada SS (lengthens the lineup if Murphy can hit lower)
    Wright 3B
    Ike 1B
    Buck C (may see a lot of fastballs in this slot)
    Murphy 2B
    Duda LF (murphy and dude can be interchangeable in this order)
    Baxter RF (I think Baxter is going to TEAR it up this year)

    ROTATION
    Santana
    Marcum
    Niese
    Gee
    Harvey (putting Harvey at 5 instead of Gee, prevents three soft tossers in a row -counting Santana as a somewhat soft tosser these days)

    BENCH
    Turner
    Recker
    Byrd
    Valdespin/Hicks (tough call. Valdespin may not play well off the bench. Let’s go with Hicks)
    Kirk/Cowgill

    BULLPEN
    Francisco
    Parnell
    Lyon
    Edgin
    Burke
    Atchison
    Carson
    If Francisco opens on DL add Hefner

  9. Scott Mets Fan
    February 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Addition to my earlier post:
    I believe Den Dekker will be starting in CF early in the season. I think he’s going to tear up Vegas and will be impossible not to promote.
    At that point, it’s going to be who’s playing best amongst Brown, Baxter and Cowgil as to who stays on the team.
    I also think Lutz has an outside chance of making the team if he has a big spring and shows he can play the OF.
    Lutz is already on the 40 man roster, has power and can back up Wright and Ike.
    I have 4 minor league invites on the team. 3 might be the limit because I think they’d only want to clear out three roster 40 man spots:
    Hefner and Turner via trade and dfa Havens.

  10. February 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I just think his makeup is better suited in the 2 hole. I agree in some aspects about him batting 8th. But he’s still learning and has performed above expectations. If he’s over matched on occasion then you can make the necessary adjustments to the lineup. To me Daniel Murphy who is a far more patient hitter than Duda would be an ideal 5 hole hitter even if it means having 3 lefties batting consecutively. We’ll see what happens spring training and what Terry Collins decides to do.

  11. Ryan
    February 26, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Well this probaly wont be the line up they use, but this is what it needs to be if they want to win!

    1. Tejada SS
    2. Murphy 2B
    3. Wright 3b
    4. Ike 1B
    5. Valdespin LF (This guy is clutch and needs a full season, if he does “I told you so”)
    6. Arnaud C
    7. Baxter LF
    8. Cowgil CF

    I dont know why people are so down on Valdespin, he has always had good minor league numbers and has plus power and plus speed. He has as much upside as anyone in the game and is severely underated. I think Terry Collins will see that with him. Bottomline id the Mets want to win they need to start Valdespin everyday, this guy is a game changer for the Mets. Plus he is at least exciting to watch, who cares about Marlon Byrd and his 7 hr a year. Im telling you now!!!

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