From Left Field: And Now We Wait
With the signing of Willie Harris to take over as the team’s fourth outfielder and the high possibility of a Chris Young signing soon, it seems as though the Mets have addressed all of their needs heading into the season.
Granted, there are still position battles to be won (second base, bullpen and bench spots) as well as a ton of question marks.
Unless the Mets plan on adding another bullpen arm (maybe a loogy), Sandy Alderson has assembled the pieces of this complex puzzle.
It will now be up to Terry Collins to arrange those piece into a working entity. While there may not be anymore major additions, there certainly might be some addition by subtraction.
I’m sure you guessed it: Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. I’m curious as to what either of these players will have to do during spring training to make the club. Perez won’t magically be able to throw strikes, and Castillo won’t be stealing second and third base after laying down a bunt single.
If they show they are competent and might be able to contribute in some capacity, will the Mets take the gamble with them or would it be wise to eat their contracts and start fresh with younger talent?
And more importantly, will our core players be able to stay healthy and produce? The talent is undoubtedly there, but can it click all at once?
These questions and more should hopefully be answered during spring training and in the early part of the season. We have a month until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie so I’m sure there will be tons of speculation and hype concerning position battles and injury updates.
I will list my projected 25-man roster at this point. Naturally, I am not the one making these decisions, but I tried to put together the most realistic roster that will give this team a shot at winning.
While the team may not look as good on paper as some of the Mets’ teams from a few years ago, we should not write them off until we see them play for a few months. Teams can get hot, and hopefully the new management can inspire these players to play to their full potential. I know I’m am optimist, but that’s the type of attitude that could lead to success in 2011.
Without further ado, here is my roster. I would love to hear other opinions and analysis. Please feel free to offer alternatives and provide your own explanation.
Note: I did not include Perez or Castillo since I feel this team is better without them.
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Angel Pagan RF (for now)
3. David Wright 3B
4. Carlos Beltran CF (for now)
5. Jason Bay LF (ahead of Davis due to speed)
6. Ike Davis 1B
7. Daniel Murphy 2B
8. Josh Thole C (I’m a little worried about the three straight lefties in the order)
C: Ronny Paulino (Mike Nickeas or Raul Chavez for first eight games)
INF: Brad Emaus
INF: Chin-lung Hu
OF: Willie Harris
OF: Nick Evans
1. Mike Pelfrey
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Jon Niese
4. Chris Young (assuming he signs)
5. Dillon Gee (but what happens when Johan returns?)
CL: Frankie Rodriguez
SU: Bobby Parnell
SU: Taylor Buchholz
LhR: Taylor Tankersley
Mid: D.J. Carrasco
Long: Chris Capuano (might be starting depending on Young)
Final spot: Manny Acosta, Pat Misch, or Pedro Beato (Beato has more upside and is a Rule 5 pick)
About the Author: Jim Mancari
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.
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