And Then There Was One…The Almost Opening Day Roster

With today’s news that Luis Hernandez, Nick Evans and Pat Misch were placed on waivers, the opening day roster is essentially in place, with the last bench spot expected to be going to newly minted super-utility man Daniel Murphy. The last expected bullpen slot is a footrace between Blaine Boyer, who appears to have a place in Sandy Alderson’s heart, Manny Acosta and the grizzled veteran fighting for his roster spot, Jason Isringhausen.

What Does This mean for the opening day lineup?

Catcher – Josh Thole

First Base – Ike Davis

Second Base – Brad Emaus

Shortstop – Jose Reyes

Third Base – David Wright

Left Field – Jason Bay

Center Field – Angel Pagan

Right Field – Carlos Beltran


OF – Scott Hairston

Catcher – Mike Nickeas

2B/SS – Chin-lung Hu

UTIL – Willie Harris

UTIL – Daniel Murphy

The offensive side of the ball appears pretty good. Mike Nickeas should only be up until Ronny Paulino serves the duration of his 8 game suspension pending his bloodwork isn’t a more serious issue. Hu is the defensive specialist/late inning replacement at either position. Daniel Murphy isn’t an excellent defender, but plays 5 of 8 positions which adds to his versatility. Scott Hairston and Willie Harris will be the primary backup outfielders, but I expect they could be on the chopping block pending a slump.

Pitching Staff

SP1 – Mike Pelfrey

SP2 – R.A. Dickey

SP3 – Jonathon Niese

SP4 – Chris Young

SP5 – Chris Capuano

Long Reliever – D.J. Carrasco

Loogy – Tim Byrdak

Middle Reliever – Taylor Bucholz

Middle Reliever – Pedro Beato

Middle Reliever – Izzy/Acosta/Boyer.

Setup Man – Bobby Parnell

Closer – Francisco Rodriguez

The starting rotation is comprised of pitchers who minus Jonathon Niese are going to rely on their defense to turn batted balls into outs. Niese is the only pitcher who’s K/9 is above 6. The pen is the exact opposite, consisting of guys who pretty much all throw 90+, which is a big difference from the Takahashi/Dessens crafty bullpen and to the pound, pound, pound bullpen.

Overall, I see this roster as one that is capable of surprising many teams and playing good consistent baseball. My only worry is only having one lefty and the possibility of Byrdak getting worn down. If one of the righties can become a strong crossover guy, that will save Byrdak from becoming Feliciano 2.0