The Mets have played 16 Spring Training games so far and have 18 to play heading into Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. We know that Spring Training stats are “useless” and we also know that clubs make decisions based on them all the time. So, who makes the Mets based on Spring Training results so far?

The assumption here is that Carlos Beltran is able to start the year with the team and not the disabled list. Hey, it’s Spring Training – if you’re not going to be optimistic here, when are you going to be that way? Here’s the rest of the team if we just go off stats:

C – Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas
Thole is having a tremendous ST while Nickeas (.158/.190/.158) is not. But neither are the other two catchers still in camp. Besides, the backup is just a placeholder until Ronny Paulino is ready.

Corner Infielders – Ike Davis, David Wright, Daniel Murphy
Davis is crushing the ball (.350/.480/.700) while Wright finally got his first hit of the Spring. Murphy has been the best hitter among the candidates for the second base job but has done nothing to ease minds over his ability to handle things there defensively.

Middle Infielders – Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, Chin-lung Hu
Castillo has just a .627 OPS but that’s better than Brad Emaus (.504) or Justin Turner (.341). Reyes has struggled mightily so far (.143/.182/.190) but Hu has been a nice surprise with the bat (.273/.385/.364).

Outfielders – Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, Angel Pagan, Lucas Duda, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris
Bay is hitting for AVG but no power. Pagan has two doubles and a HR among his seven hits. Duda has a .568 SLG. Hairston’s .478 SLG looks great until you notice he has a .464 OBP, which is phenomenal. Harris has been even better with a 1.012 OPS.

Starters – R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey, Chris Young
Dickey and Pelfrey both got roughed up in their last starts. Niese has a 1.59 ERA with 10 Ks in 11.1 IP. Young has allowed 7 H and 2 BB in 9 IP so far.

Relievers – Francisco Rodriguez, Manny Acosta, Taylor Buchholz, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen, Pat Misch, Bobby Parnell.
Rodriguez, Buchholz and Byrdak have each not allowed a run so far. Acosta and Parnell have identical 1.50 ERAs while Isringhausen is right on their tails with a 1.80 mark. Misch wins the long reliever role with a 2.25 ERA.

Traditionally, teams do not need five starters at the beginning of the year. I left Chris Capuano off the team so he could get a start or two in the minors while giving more time for the final spot on the roster to shake out.

Can Beltran stay off the DL? If so, which one of the three OF reserves cools off? Can Castillo do enough to keep his job or will the Mets live with Murphy as their starter and use Harris to fill in for defensive purposes late in close games?

Finally, I left off Mike O’Connor from the team even though he has yet to give up a run. Byrdak has more experience in the LOOGY role and I chose to go with a long man, at least for the early part of the year.

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