A look at the Mets’ Opening Day roster

Over here it’s getting close to 7 pm which means we’re close to opening day at Citi Field and I figured this might be a good time to share my opinion on the Mets’ opening day roster.

Infield

Ike Davis
I guess the big question here is whether he can produce consistantly at the same level he used to do in the second half of last season. Me, I have always liked him since he made those over-the-railing catches at what seemed like a daily basis. He’s key. If he hits, the chances for the team change. If he doesn’t, well … let’s just hope he hits and he finds his groove defensively. Although I never thought his defense deteriorated in the first place. Still one of the better 1st basemen in the majors in my opinion.

Daniel Murphy
The hope here is that he starts the season healthy. Somebody else wrote that you can’t help but root for Murph, and I’m no exception here. As in any other sport I just like players who give it their best. And I think Murphy is one of those players. I also think he made the plays he was supposed to make at 2B and if he can reproduce what he did last year defensively, then that’s a valuable asset. The hitting has always been there and I can tolerate the lack of power i.e. home runs if he can get on base regularly.

Ruben Tejada
Terrible spring. Flat out. But everybody knows what he’s capable of doing. Solid defender and a team that everybody is predicting to have trouble scoring runs might be better off denying the opposition to score. At least I don’t expect any braincramps a la Starlin Castro from him.

David Wright
Captain. ‘Nuff said.

Outfield

Lucas Duda
Although it might be too much for him to take I think he is the key to the Mets’ 2013 season. If he can show that he is the offensive player everbody is hoping he is, he might become the most important player on the team. If he doesn’t, it might affect all players around him. We all know he’s no defensive wizard and I believe there will be a lot of moments when I will scream at my screen because of botched balls in left. But I like that fact that after a very poor start (which is an understatement) to spring training, he got his act together and showed what he is capable of doing.

Collin Cowgill
“More Cowgill”, the slogan of the first spring training game. Maybe he can become the sparkplug the team needs. I prefer his hard-nosed approach to the extroverted antics of Valdespin.

Marlon Byrd
Nice bounce-back effort by Byrd, although I really have my problems with PED convicts. Let’s just hope his “experience” doesn’t rub off to the young players on the roster. Still one has to admit he’s had a good spring and earned his spot. Though doubts always remain because of his past (yes, I know I’m paranoid…)

Catching

John Buck
Everybody knows he’s there just to hold the seat warm until d’Arnaud arrives from Vegas. But even when he does Buck should provide a nice bench option. He sure is an upgrade from the trainwreck that was the offensive production of the catcher’s spot last year.

Bench

Justin Turner
The clutch hitting machine. Another player I really came to like over the past two seasons. Doesn’t do anything too fancy, knows his limits, tries to keep everybody loose and plays hard. That might not be enough for a superstar player, but hey, I like that blue collar approach.

Jordany Valdespin
My oh my, what do we have to make of JV1. I guess you can’t dispute his talent, but his antics are way over the top and I just hope his on-field production outways his off-the-field extravaganza. Because he can hit. And if he does that, he should be great when somebody goes down with an injury. On the other hand, if he really shows he can handle big league pitching on a regular basis, maybe he can become trade bait to fetch a decent ourfielder. Who knows…

Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Those strikeouts are a pain in the ass, aren’t they? From what I saw in spring he didn’t look too comfortable at the plate, so the prediction that he might be used as a defensive replacement in left in late innings looks pretty much correct. If there are really leads to protect.

Anthony Recker
Tough luck, but as soon as the front office deems d’Arnaud ready he should be the first guy out of Flushing.

Mike Baxter
What’s not to like about local kids making the team and he will forever live in Mets’ lore for that catch in left on June 1st 2012.

Starting pitching

Jonathon Niese
Everybody is expecting great things from Niese. Me, I’ll take his production from last year. I just hope he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself to carry an already depleted pitching staff on his left arm. He won’t duplicate what Dickey did last year, but he has all the potential to be a very decent if not very good ace pitcher. Maybe not up there with the big names, but we might be getting there.

Matt Harvey
THE attraction. #Harveywatch will be the hip thing to do in NYC, I guess. What’s not to like? Bulldog attitude, great pitches, heat. Maybe he should try and cut down his pitch count a little bit. Strikeouts are cool, but if you have to leave a game in or after the 5th inning because you’ve already thrown over 100 pitches, that doesn’t help anybody. Still, I am really looking forward to find out how he holds up over a complete season. And, boy, do I look forward to him hitting (.333).

Dillon Gee
If I remember it correctly he was doing pretty fine until that injury derailed his season. If he can come back and pitch like he did back then that should be a great help for the team.

Jeremy Hefner
Didn’t Hefner hit a home run last season? Maybe he can help his own cause by doing so regularly. I really liked his spring training starts and it was too bad he got hit by that comebacker. It might be a risk to carry two pitchers on the team who rely on location more than on speed (Gee being the other one), but I can see Hefner remaining on the roster when Zack Wheeler arrives (if he arrives…). Which brings me to…

Shaun Marcum
…and here I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Haven’t seen him pitch and I have absolutely no expectations. He has to get healthy first, I guess.

Relief pitching

Bobby Parnell
From everything I saw and read he looks ready to take over the closer’s spot. Frank Francisco’s injury might have been a blessing in disguise. What I also liked was that when the going got tough (yeah, I know it’s only spring training) Parnell didn’t hide under the table but got the opposition out. And not so much by throwing heat, but by pitching. Sometimes even to contact. Here’s hoping he gets quite a few chances to close out games.

LaTroy Hawkins
It’s good to have a veteran presence in the bullpen.

Josh Edgin
The only times I’ve seen him this spring he got beaten around pretty hard, so I hope those were rogue outings. ‘Cause the numbers look okay, really.

Scott Rice
You have to like this story. 14 years in the minors and he finally gets his chance to pitch in the big leagues. Welcome to the show, Scott!

Scott Atchison
Hah, there it is. The justification for this blog. Atchison was pitching for the Hanshin Tigers in 2008 and 2009 and although those Tigers teams didn’t do anything I had the feeling Hanshin fans still think rather positively of him. At least that’s the impression I had when I was visiting Osaka. And, yes, I know Tsuyoshi Shinjo used to play for the Mets. Atchison should be a fine addition to the bullpen. Should make a very nice setup man.

Jeurys Familia
There seems to be some doubt as to whether he will be able to adjust to big league hitters. I guess, we just have to wait and see.

Greg Burke
Yes, I’m a sucker for sidearm/submarine pitchers and if only for his mechanics I would have wanted Burke on the roster. Now, if he could drop that armslot a bit more so he looks like Shunsuke Watanabe (Chiba Lotte Marines) or Kazuhisa Makita (Seibu Lions). That would be fun.

Brandon Lyon
An ERA of 7.00 and a WHIP of 1.889 isn’t ecatly what you would call a great spring…

Have I forgot someone? (Yes, it’s 26 instead of 25, I know…)

Okay. Play ball! (finally)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s