Opening Day Just Days Away

An article by posted on March 29, 2011

This weekend, I ventured down to Port St. Lucie to catch two late-March Spring Training games. It’s been a routine trip I make each year, typically toward the end of March, that way I can catch as close to the Opening Day lineup as possible.

The Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 16-3, Thursday, March 24, behind home runs from Angel Pagan, Matt den Dekker, David Wright, Brad Emaus and Josh Thole.

Thole blasted a shot to right field and over the fence at Digital Domain Park — and yes, it probably would have been gone at Citi Field, too.

Then, on Saturday, March 26, I saw the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 8-2, behind a solid start from Mike Pelfrey (5 2/3 innings, two earned runs, seven hits and finishing with a 5.63 ERA this spring). Also, Brad Emaus doubled and scored a run.

Throughout the spring, I’ve heard Emaus’ playing style compared to Dan Uggla. Essentially, that means he’s more offensive-minded and an average defensive player. Basically, from what I saw this weekend, I don’t see why the 25-year-old Emaus won’t get the nod to start the season at second base. Sure, anything can happen over the course of the season, but I think the best bet for the team is to have Emaus at second and let Daniel Murphy play that “super utility” role.

And I know it’s only Spring Training, but it was pretty cool to see the Mets win two games while I was down there watching. That all plays in to the mentality I have as the season is about to begin: There’s no pressure for the Mets. Most — if not all — of the pressure is on the Phillies. If the Mets can play, and, as David Wright says, have “swagger,” perhaps they can surprise some people.

Only time will tell, though, right?

In the meantime, who do you think the starting second baseman should be?

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