Mets’ Byrd flies onto Opening Day roster

The Mets have announced the projected Opening Day starting line-up they plan to use on Monday when they square off against the Padres at Citi Field.

CF: Jordany Valdespin
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
1B: Ike Davis
RF: Marlon Byrd
LF: Lucas Duda
C: John Buck
SS: Ruben Tejada

Back in February, we asked you to predict the Mets’ Opening Day roster to see what you could come up with.

Here is what I had:

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

With the exception of Valdespin getting the starting nod over Nieuwenhuis and Duda, Buck and Byrd swapping spots in the batting order, this writer did pretty darn well with this prediction. How well did you do?

It didn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to figure this one out, but there were a lot of people out there that wouldn’t give Byrd the benefit of the doubt and this is the prediction that one can show pride in.

When Alderson signed Byrd to a minor league deal at the beginning of February, it didn’t exactly light up the transaction pages of media outlets, nor did people even expect the 35-year old veteran to make the team.

The Mets had a crowded outfield of young players with potential to blossom on a rebuilding team and a veteran coming off of a season shortened due to a PED suspension didn’t look like a fit.

However, Byrd had a big spring hitting .346/.375/.558 with 1 HR and 7 RBI and won the starting job in right field.

He should provide veteran mentorship to youngsters such as Duda, Valdespin, Nieuwenhuis and Cowgill and still manages to play a decent enough outfield that Collins felt comfortable starting him, but will the Byrd move pay off for the Mets or should they have given the youngsters the necessary playing time needed to blossom?

This move seems like the right one in the interim, but don’t expect the Florida native to be in the same position all season long unless he absolutely tears the cover off the ball and puts the Mets in a position to win.

If Byrd is successful for the first half of the season leading up to the All-Star break and the Mets are a below average team record wise – which is expected – then the team is almost guaranteed to flip him for prospects. If he struggles, the playing time will be given to one of the previously mentioned youngsters in waiting.

This is an opportunity for Byrd to pass on his knowledge to some up and comers and keep his job as long as he can, but he’s simply a spot holder with mentor duties at this point in his career and this role seems to be one he should fill well.

The only way Byrd is wearing blue and orange come the end of 2013 is if he produces consistently all season long and the Mets have a winning record good enough to push them into the playoffs.

Both of these scenarios seem doubtful, but you never know what can happen in this whacky game that we call baseball.

9 comments for “Mets’ Byrd flies onto Opening Day roster

  1. March 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I still think Cowgill finds a way to get plenty of PAs, maybe even a starting job, once the season begins.

  2. Name
    March 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I think my pride is definately affecting my judgement on Byrd.

    I would rather see him fail than do well and help the Mets simply because i thought he was going to be a non-factor coming into camp. Probably the fact the he is a PED user and that he was a product of Texas also are factors into why i don’t like him.

  3. March 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I picked Cowgil to start.
    I also understand about the PEDs…

  4. March 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Collins named Cowgill the starting CF today, Byrd in right and Duda in left. No platoons, Kirk is the No. 4 OF and Spin is on the bench. I assume we’ll see plenty of him in all three OF spots and 2B.

    • Name
      March 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      I’m really sad that Mike Baxter is pretty much forgotten but happy that Cowgill is being given a chance.

      We should have a contest here to see when people think Byrd will lose his starting role and when he will lose his roster spot.
      I’ll go with April 15th starting role, May 2nd roster spot.

    • Metsense
      March 31, 2013 at 7:28 am

      The fact that Kirk made the team as a defensive replacement indicates to me that MDD would have made the team instead if he wasn’t injured. Giving the starting jobs in the OF outright is just plain foolish to me. These players all have something to prove, are not very good, and should be managed so that the most can be got from them. Why run Byrd into the ground right away? Why not give JV a few starts in CF and RF? Why not let Byrd slide over to LF every now and then to spell Duda? Why isn’t Kirk in Las Vegas? The last decision on Kirk was he had to learn to hit in AAA last August. Instead they put him on the roster ??? Rice over Carson was earned but the best pitchers should make the squad not from which hand they throw. Quintinilla is the backup but instead the Mets carry three second basemen. Sandy didn’t address the OF this winter or the 2B surplus. The fact that so many non roster players deserved spots is indicative how really poor this team is. Tomorrow is opening day and I’ll still chant Let’s Go Mets !!!

      • March 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

        The thing that gets me is that coming up in the minors, the knock on Nieuwenhuis is that he would be ok in a corner OF spot but stretched defensively in CF. And now we’re carrying him to be … a defensive guy. Either the guys we have starting really stink or the scouting reports missed the boat. I guess both could be true.

        I think Baxter should have gotten the Nieuwenhuis role and Kirk should be in Triple-A playing every day and working on his contact issue. Interesting point about MDD – he must have had at least one solid backer in the org given how much time he received this Spring before getting hurt. And I do think JV will get some starts. To me he’s the perfect utility guy. He can play multiple positions, he can run and he’s got some power. You just don’t want him starting on a regular basis or else all of his flaws get magnified.

        Finally, the Turner love is what’s keeping Qunitanilla in the minors. But if Ruben Tejada comes down with an injury, I have no doubt they’ll call him up.

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