February 27, 2013; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets players including third baseman David Wright (5) and first baseman Ike Davis (29) gather during a pitching change with manager Terry Collins (10) during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field. The Cardinals defeated the Mets 12-4. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

2013 MLB Preview: New York Mets 25-Man Roster Predictions (Part 1)

Rising Apple started our preview of the 2013 Majore League Baseball season last week by taking a day-by-day look at each of the six divisions throughout the American and National League. This week, our preview series takes another turn, as it remains Mets-focused. We start today with each of our writers giving us predictions for their preferred 25-man rosters of our beloved Metsies, with some thoughts behind their picks. This part of our preview is lengthy, so it will be split up between today and tomorrow. To finish the week, each of us will be predicting New York’s final record, and how we arrived at that particular win-loss total. Enjoy!

Michael Lecolant- Senior Staff Writer:

March 01, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) throws in the spring training game against the Detroit Tigers at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Rotation (in order): LHP Jonathon Niese, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Jeremy Hefner

Bullpen: CP Bobby Parnell, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Josh Edgin, LHP Robert Carson, LHP Pedro Feliciano, RHP Jeurys Familia

Catcher: John Buck, Anthony Recker

First Base: Ike Davis

Second Base: Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner

Shortstop: Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla

Third Base: David Wright

Outfield: Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Jordany Valdespin, Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter

Why he made these picks:

Jon Niese gets to start the 2013 regular season as the team’s top guy. I like Dillon Gee pitching second because Niese and Gee have always followed each other. Over the last two years, they’ve formed a nice combo together, so I’d like to continue that. I chose to sandwich Matt Harvey between Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Hefner. Once Johan Santana is ready to pitch, I’d push him into the third slot, and move Marcum down to fifth. When Johan does come off the DL, Jeremy Hefner will unfortunately need to be demoted back to Las Vegas.

I would love to keep Hefner in the bullpen, but the Mets need lefty relievers. After Josh Edgin, their choices are Robert Carson and Pedro Feliciano. I’m not sure how effective Pedro Feliciano will be this season. So after Josh Edgin, the lack of a quality lefty concerns me. When Frank Francisco proves capable of closing games again, I would send Jeurys Familia to Las Vegas.

Should something go absurdly wrong with Mets pitching this season, they can potentially pick from Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, or Josh Edgin for help. Or, depending on how some of Sandy Alderson’s nondescript free agent relievers pan out, they can all gradually be worked in by summer.

Should Travis d’Arnaud receive his expected promotion to the big club, John Buck stays as the back-up. What then becomes of Anthony Recker? It is a good problem to have considering recent weak performers behind the plate. Speaking of which, the general manager said performance will dictate who heads north. Therefore, Omar Quintanilla wins a spot on the roster. In the outfield, I am committed to giving Lucas Duda the full season in left on a make-or-break basis. I feel we should give him a full season. The one player I am least satisfied awarding a precious roster spot to is Marlon Byrd. In the Mets’ current situation, I would just prefer to let a young guy win a job. Additionally, I am still conflicted with Jordany Valdespin.

Sam Maxwell, Staff Writer:

Starting Rotation (in order): LHP Jonathon Niese, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Jeremy Hefner

Bullpen: CP Bobby Parnell, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, LHP Josh Edgin, LHP Pedro Feliciano, RHP Greg Burke

Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck

First Base: Ike Davis

Second Base: Jordany Valdespin

Shortstop: Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla

Third Base: Zach Lutz, Brian Bixler

Outfield: Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter, Jamie Hoffman

Why he made these picks:

I don’t think the Mets will be that much different than this roster in the worst-case scenario Turner, Murphy and Wright are on the DL to start the year. Also, there seems to be no circumstance where d’Arnaud is on the opening day roster, and that they just want him around big league pros as long as possible. So, there’s still a likely chance Anthony Recker is the Backup catcher and Buck is in the starting lineup. Hoffmann, though having a rough spring at the plate, might make the team if only because of the injuries to Turner and Nieuwenhuis. If not, they may think of calling up Juan Lagares or giving Andrew Brown a shot.  Brown has been slightly better at the plate lately after beginning the spring slowly.

I’m not sure Zach Lutz will ever experience big league success, so I’m weary of him at 3rd if Wright isn’t good to go on Opening Day, though every precaution must be taken to have Wright in the lineup as much as possible. With his “4-A” status, if you will, I don’t see a scenario where he isn’t the starting 3rd baseman if Wright can’t go opening day.

Quintanilla, who was extremely flashy defensively in yesterday’s 3-2 win over the Cardinals, is pretty much a lock to make the team as one of the backup infielders, especially with the uncertainty of Justin Turner’s ankle. He’s one of those players whose effort is 1000% better than his talent, and that is always endearing when it translates to success. He’s a Mets Legend, and I’m glad he’s back in the franchise.

One of the more exciting parts of getting this season underway is the power that will be at the catching position, regardless of where d’Arnaud starts. It might not seem possible for Buck to “bottom” his .192 batting average from last year, but it didn’t seem possible for the Mets to have bad second halves every year, soooooooo…..who knows. However, being under the mendoza line might just be an anomaly. With expectations low for the average, if Buck can get it up to .230 or more, he will have overachieved in most eyes. With the pop he’s got and the defense far from a liability, Buck should be very useful for this 2013 squad.

You can generally never predict how good or bad a bullpen will be, but I feel pretty confident that not only will the group being put together be better than last year, but actually be pretty effective. I like the mix of young arms and savvy veterans that is being brewed, so hopefully my optimism is fulfilled.

Will DeBoer, Staff Writer:

Starting Rotation (in order): LHP Jonathon Niese, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Jeremy Hefner

Bullpen: CP Bobby Parnell, RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Josh Edgin, LHP Robert Carson, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Greg Burke, RHP LaTroy Hawkins

Catcher: John Buck, Landon Powell

First Base: Ike Davis

Second Base: Daniel Murphy

Shorstop: Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla

Third Base: David Wright

Outfield: Lucas Duda, Jordany Valdespin, Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd

Justin Turner: IF/OF/C/P/Whatever else we need him to do

Why he made these picks:

Johan Santana is out of commission for now and Zack Wheeler is still a couple of months from being ready, so the starting rotation is a no-brainer, with “grizzled vet” Niese taking the reins on Opening Day. Eventually, Harvey should assume the “Ace” role, but his psyche may need half a season to get there. Once Santana comes back, Jeremy Hefner should be relegated to the bullpen, but he will do as a 5th starter for now.

Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia will need to complete their minor league finishing school term before being ready to return to the majors, but a veteran cast of Atchison, Burke, and Hawkins should hold down the fort all right. Parnell, Edgin, Carson, and maybe Lyon are the only guys I see on the Mets beyond 2013; the rest are simply stopgaps for next off-season, when a lot of spending money is freed up.

Landon Powell will keep Travis d’Arnaud’s seat warm for the time being, but everyone else has a legitimate shot of staying up all season. When healthy, the infield is solid as a rock, and Quintanilla and Turner are more than capable as part-timers. The outfield is anybody’s guess, but with five qualified outfielders (six if you count Turner, who got some reps out there), Terry Collins will at least have plenty of combinations to try before throwing up his hands in defeated frustration. I give him until late June.

Danny Abriano, Staff Writer:

Starting Rotation (in order): LHP Jonathon Niese, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Jeremy Hefner

Bullpen: CP Bobby Parnell, RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Greg Burke, RHP Jeurys Familia, LHP Pedro Feliciano

Catcher: John Buck, Anthony Recker

First Base: Ike Davis

Second Base: Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner

Shortstop: Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla

Third Base: David Wright

Outfield: Lucas Duda, Jordany Valdespin, Mike Baxter, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd

Why he made these picks:

The only difference between my roster and what the Mets will do: I predict they’ll slot Matt Harvey in the 4th spot in the rotation, while starting Marcum in the 2nd spot. In the bullpen, I see them carrying LaTroy Hawkins instead of Jeurys Familia. The 13 position players I want to come north are also the ones I think the Mets will take.

With 2013 likely being a transition year, it makes little sense for the Mets to carry low ceiling, stop-gap type relievers. For that reason, I prefer that the Mets take Jeurys Familia north while leaving LaTroy Hawkins off the roster. Familia is a potential long term answer at the back end of the pen, and it’s time to see what he’s made of. I’m not a huge fan of the current incarnation of Pedro Feliciano, but the Mets need two lefties in the pen. Robert Carson hasn’t excelled this spring and Scott Rice is a career minor leaguer, so Feliciano slides in by default.

As far as the rotation, Jonathon Niese has earned the right to start on Opening Day. Matt Harvey should slot in after him as the #2 starter. For some reason, though, I think the Mets will slot him lower. Earlier this spring, I wanted Jenrry Mejia (not Jeremy Hefner) to round out the rotation, but his forearm injury has taken him out of contention.

With everyone going nuts over David Wright’s injury, I’m predicting that he’ll be ready for opening day. I could obviously be wrong, but I have a gut feeling he’ll be ready. Daniel Murphy is just getting back into game action, but it’d be surprising if he isn’t ready in a little under two weeks, so he’s on my roster as well.

 

That rounds out today’s roster predictions. Be sure to check Rising Apple tomorrow, as Part 2 will be available just in time for you to eat your lunch. Rich Sparago, Dan Haefeli, Ellie Silfin, and myself will reveal who we think will break camp and go north with the Mets for Opening Day.

Do you agree with these picks? Is there someone you think is a sleeper to make the team in a couple weeks? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to Like Rising Apple’s Facebook page and follow @RisingAppleBlog on Twitter to keep up with the latest news, rumors, and opinion.

 

Tags: 2013 MLB Season Preview David Wright Jonathon Niese New York Mets

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