Mar 18, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia (27) throws against the Detroit Tigers in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Mets Season Preview: 25-Man Roster Preferences

The Rising Apple Mets season preview continues with our 25-man roster preferences – and our reasoning behind them. With spring training “battles” still going, we choose the rosters we would go north with. Where noted, these include players we think the Mets should acquire via trade or free agency between now and Opening Day…

Danny Abriano, Editor -

Starting 8 (in order):

1. Nick Franklin, SS
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Curtis Granderson, RF
5. Ike Davis, 1B
6. Travis d’Arnaud, C
7. Chris Young, LF
8. Juan Lagares, CF

Bench:

Anthony Recker, C
Eric Young, Jr., 2B/OF
Josh Satin, IF
Anthony Seratelli, IF/OF
Andrew Brown, OF

Starting Rotation:

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Jonathon Niese, LHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Bullpen:

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
Vic Black, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Carlos Torres, RHP
Joel Carreno, RHP

It’s pretty simple for me. Juan Lagares needs to be in center field every day, Jenrry Mejia is wasted if he isn’t in the rotation, John Lannan isn’t of much use as a second lefty in the pen, and the Mets need to acquire a shortstop.

Mike Lecolant, Staff Writer -

Starting 8 (in order):

1. Eric Young, LF
2. Travis d’Arnaud, C
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Daniel Murphy, 2B
5. Curtis Granderson, RF
6. Chris Young, CF
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Ruben Tejada, SS

Bench:

Anthony Recker, C
Wilmer Flores, IF
Josh Satin, IF
Juan Lagares, OF
Matt den Dekker, OF

Starting Rotation:

Zack Wheeler, RHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Jon Niese, LHP
Bartolo Colon, RHP
Diasuke Matsuzaka, RHP

Bullpen:

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Vic Black, RHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP
Carlos Torres, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
John Lannan, RHP

I’m tired of the first base situation, therefore, I’m ruling Ike Davis out. Rumors are that Sandy Alderson is shopping him again, anyway. I’m also tempted to hand shortstop over to Wilfredo Tovar and Wilmer Flores, but will give Ruben Tejada one last shot to prove his worth. I’m still torn between EYJ’s speed, or Juan Lagares’ defense. Matt den Dekker is my first choice for fifth outfielder.

Both EYJ and Lagares need to increase their hitting and OBP in order to be effective lead-off men. I would like to experiment with Travis d’Arnaud in the second spot. Unfortunately for Duda, my plan leaves him in the seventh spot. He’s my sacrificial lamb. It was either him, or d’Arnaud. So, I prefer to lend Travis the extra helping hand. Being that I believe Daniel Murphy will have a breakout season, I’d also experiment with batting him cleanup. I believe my line-up will protect, and maybe even propel d’Arnaud, and I feel Granderson will help Murphy. Chris Young and Duda in turn offer Granderson line-up protection.

Mar 11, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) makes a catch against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The pitching is pretty straight forward. As the team heads north, I believe they should do so with seven pitchers in the bullpen. The Mets can’t afford to burn out Scott Rice, so, Lannan or Josh Edgin will need to be the second left-hander in the bullpen. Jon Niese may pose a problem for the Mets yet.

Will DeBoer, Staff Writer -

Starting 8 (in order):

1. Didi Gregorius, SS
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Curtis Granderson, RF
5. Chris Young, LF
6. Juan Lagares, CF
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

Bench:

Andrew Brown, OF
Anthony Recker, C
Josh Satin, IF
Ruben Tejada, IF
Eric Young, Jr., 2B/OF

Starting Rotation:

Bartolo Colon, RHP (Opening Day starter)
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Jonathon Niese, LHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP

Bullpen:

Bobby Parnell, RHP (Closer)
Vic Black, RHP (Setup)
Carlos Torres, RHP (Long Relief)
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Pedro Feliciano, LHP
Gonzalez Germen, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP

The Mets land Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Jenrry Mejia and Jacob deGrom.
Juan Lagares hits sixth to get on base for Duda and d’Arnaud.
Lucas Duda wins the first base battle, Ike Davis goes to Triple-A Las Vegas (or elsewhere).
Eric Young, Jr. gets ample playing time as an everyday pinch-runner.
The veteran Bartolo Colon gets the Opening Day start over the inexperienced Wheeler and middleman Gee.
Daisuke Matsuzaka performs valiantly for the first month of the year before Rafael Montero puts him out of a job.
Pedro Feliciano returns to the bullpen as a second lefty to keep Scott Rice from being overworked.
(After living with Tigers fans for four years and personally observing how destructive he can be,) Jose Valverde doesn’t touch the bullpen with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole.

Dan Haefeli, Staff Writer -
 

Starting 8 (in order):

 

1. Ruben Tejada, SS
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Curtis Granderson, RF
5. Chris Young, LF
6. Ike Davis, 1B
7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
8. Juan Lagares, CF

 

Bench:

 

Lucas Duda, 1B
Eric Young, Jr., 2B/OF
Anthony Recker, C
Anthony Seratelli, IF/OF
Josh Satin, IF

 

Starting Rotation:

 

Jonathon Niese, LHP
Bartolo Colon, RHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

 

Bullpen:

 

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Vic Black, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
John Lannan, LHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Carlos Torres, RHP

 
Rich Sparago, Staff Writer -

Starting 8:

Travis d’Arnaud, C
Lucas Duda, 1B
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Didi Gregorius or Nick Franklin, SS
David Wright, 3B
Chris Young, LF
Juan Lagares, CF
Curtis Granderson, RF

Bench:

Eric Young, 2B/OF
Andrew Brown, OF
Ruben Tejada, IF
Anthony Recker, C
Josh Satin, IF

Starting Rotation:

Jonathon Niese, LHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Bartolo Colon, RHP
Rafael Montero, RHP

Bullpen:

John Lannan, LHP
Scott Rice, LHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Vic Black, RHP
Bobby Parnell, RHP
Gonzalez Germen, RHP

I’d like to see the Mets trade for a shortstop, and I’m figuring that Jenrry Mejia could be the trade bait. If not, and a starter above were traded, Mejia would slot into that person’s place on the roster. With a new shortstop on the team, Ruben Tejada becomes a utility infielder.

Mar 5, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia (58) throws against the Washington Nationals in spring training action at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

My concern with this roster is that in games that Duda starts, there would not be a left-handed hitter on the bench. This could be a late-game problem, as most closers are right-handed. Eric Young Junior could be a switch-hitter off the bench, but he would not provide a long-ball threat that could be necessary. Similarly, Anthony Seratelli could get a look over Tejada, since Seratelli is a switch hitter, and he plays both infield and outfield. He also would not address the need for left-handed power off the bench. Finally, Ike Davis would not be on my preferred roster. His power is enticing, but his inconsistency and lack of spring playing time work against him. I see him as being traded, or beginning the season in Las Vegas.

Andrew Battifarano, Staff Writer -

Starting 8:

Ike Davis, IB
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Didi Gregorius, SS
David Wright, 3B
Travis d’Arnaud, C
Chris Young, LF
Juan Lagares, CF
Curtis Granderson, RF

Bench:

Josh Satin, IF
Anthony Recker, C
Matt den Dekker, OF
Eric Young, Jr., 2B/OF
Wilmer Flores, IF

Starting Rotation:

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Jonathon Niese, LHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Bullpen:

Carlos Torres, RHP
John Lannan, LHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
Vic Black, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Bobby Parnell, RHP

To me, the biggest question going into the season is shortstop. Right now it looks as if Ruben Tejada has the spot, but the Didi Gregorius trade looks like a possibility. If that happens, I would like to see Gregorius starting at short with Flores on the bench getting opportunities versus lefties and at second and first base if their are injuries and struggles at those positions. If he won’t get playing time, I say start Wilmer in Triple A, but I would love to see him on the big club.

Mejia deserves to get a shot at the fifth starter spot over both Lannan and Matsuzaka. He looked strong toward the end of last season and I want him to get another look in the rotation in New York. I do like Lannan though, and he could be a valuable long man along with Carlos Torres in the bullpen.

Eric Young, Jr. should be on the team, but on the bench. Juan Lagares has earned the starting center field job just with his tremendous defense alone, so that should not even be a point of contention.

Shannon Finkel, Staff Writer:

Starting 8:

Ike Davis, 1B
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Wilmer Flores, SS
David Wright, 3B
Travis d’Arnaud, C
Curtis Granderson, RF
Juan Lagares, CF
Chris Young, LF

Bench:

Lucas Duda, OF
Eric Young, Jr., OF
Anthony Recker, C
Josh Satin, 1B
Ruben Tejada, IF

Starting Rotation:

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Jonathon Niese, LHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Bullpen:

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Carlos Torres, RHP
Vic Black, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
John Lannan, LHP

Yes, I am a believer in Wilmer Flores at shortstop. This would obviously be a huge gamble, especially since he hasn’t manned the position professionally since 2011. Tejada has shown next to nothing this spring, though, offensively or defensively, and Flores is too valuable of a hitter to send to the minors. If not at short, I would like to see Flores on the bench in Tejada’s place.

With the fifth starter spot up for grabs at camp, I would want to see Jenrry Mejia make the Opening Day roster. Before his 2013 season ended due to elbow issues, Mejia’s pitching was excellent. In five starts, he had a 2.30 ERA with 27 strikeouts and only four walks in 27.1 innings. Although this is a small sample size, we know that Mejia is capable of pitching in the major leagues. If he can manage to stay healthy, he would be the best option for the back of the rotation.

Chris Schubert, Staff Writer:

Starting Lineup:

Travis d’Arnaud, C
Lucas Duda, 1B
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Ruben Tejada, SS
Chris Young, LF
Curtis Granderson, RF
Juan Lagares, CF

Bench:

Josh Satin, IF
Eric Young, Jr., OF
Wilmer Flores, IF
Anthony Recker, C
Andrew Brown, OF

Starting Rotation:

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Dillon Gee, RHP
Zack Wheeler, RHP
Jonathon Niese, LHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP

Bullpen:

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Vic Black, RHP
Jose Valverde, RHP
Scott Rice, LHP
Carlos Torres, RHP
John Lannan, LHP
Joel Carreno , RHP

I’d give Duda the nod as injuries have kept Ike Davis from getting time and it seems that Duda is the preferred option within the organization. With no trade for Nick Franklin materializing, Ruben Tejada gets the shortstop gig.

If Terry Collins could have his way, EY would be starting, but he will have to settle for using EY’s speed and bat as the 4th outfielder and pitch hitter (which he is). And Wilmer Flores is the backup infielder. Flores can play every position on the infield and his bat gives Collins options when needing to give guys a day off. And when Ike Davis is healthy, he might be able to squeeze his way back onto the roster.

Jenrry Mejia doesn’t belong in the bullpen, as he has shown in the past his inability to be effective from there. If the Mets want to win, and be taken seriously, Mejia belongs as the 5th starter. Now his health will be a concern, but the Mets have depth and a number of backup options if that problem arises.

Now, with Joel Carreno in the pen – he was sent back to minor league camp, but he has looked very good this spring and has been battling with Jeurys Familia for the final bullpen spot. Either one adds to the bullpen and should be able to help the Mets.

 

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