Jerry Manuel was a guest of Mike Francesa on WFAN today, and was chock full of information, essentially detailing some last minute items of note as the Mets get set for Opening Day.
To begin, the last roster spot is down to the same two guys I mentioned on Wednesday, infielders Chris Carter and Frank Catalanotto. While Carter would provide the Mets with more offensive pop, Catalanotto could give Jerry Manuel the versatility he craves. A final decision could come this evening.
Mike Jacobs will in fact bat cleanup and receive the bulk of the playing time at first base. Manuel prefers Jacobs as the cleanup hitter because he can use him to separate his right handed batters David Wright, who will bat third, and Jason Bay, who will bat fifth. Tatis will be used occasionally as a defensive replacement for Jacobs, and against left handed pitchers, but don’t expect a strict platoon. Mike Jacobs will be your everyday first baseman.
Manuel sounded very much like a decision has been made, and that Jenrry Mejia will be on the Opening Day roster and working out of the bullpen, although not in a setup role initially. He considers Mejia to have the best arm of any reliever in camp, and although he envisions him as the set-up man this year, it won’t happen right away. He plans to use other options including Pedro Feliciano. If Mejia does make the team, it could mean Kiko Calero or Ryota Igarashi could begin the season in Buffalo and be on call if needed.
As we already surmised, Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. will split the center field job until Carlos Beltran returns. Both could see time in the leadoff spot.
The Mets will announce the official 25 man roster at the conclusion of tomorrows game against the Orioles.
Go to WFAN to hear the entire interview.