1 Mets player making a case to earn an Opening Day roster spot and another to put on notice

A surprising player who could be there on Opening Day and another who needs to get his act together.

New York Mets Photo Day
New York Mets Photo Day / Elsa/GettyImages

If you like surprises, you’re probably done with New York Mets spring training already. There really isn’t much intrigue around the competitions for the Opening Day roster. Even the fifth starter spot seems to have been won by Tylor Megill who entered the elimination chamber already as the favorite.

There is still room for a little bit of movement, though. The last spot in the bullpen is up for grabs. And one of the spots on the bench could have a twist if the Mets feel like spring training is a good enough preview of what lies ahead. At the very least, there’s a player to put on notice.

Sean Reid-Foley is making a strong case for the Opening Day roster

Discounted by many to make the Opening Day roster, Sean Reid-Foley is one of three relievers in a predicament. Four hitless innings with only 1 walk allowed and 7 seven strikeouts this spring have helped him stand out more than competitors Phil Bickford and Yohan Ramirez. Only one will survive. Reid-Foley is making the best case.

The risk with each of these three players is if they don’t make the Opening Day roster they’d have to first clear waivers to have a chance to accept a minor league assignment. Reid-Foley’s career hasn’t looked good enough for another team to take a flier on him where they’d immediately run into the same issue as the Mets.

In the days leading up to Opening Day, there will be a waiver wire frenzy as other teams eliminate players in this situation. Zack Short, a player in the same spot as these three pitchers, probably would pass through waivers and might even accept an assignment to Syracuse. Seeing how much teams will pay for pitching in free agency and trades, continued success this spring for SRF might have someone bite.

DJ Stewart is showing he is replaceable

Meanwhile, DJ Stewart is having the exact opposite type of performance this spring. Now 3 for 20 without any extra base hits, the Mets outfielder/DH hasn’t looked worthy of the Opening Day lineup.

The offseason Stewart debate wasn’t about whether the Mets should keep him or not. They absolutely needed to. His August was too impressive to let him go. The September slump, however, should have had them rethinking his role. A remaining minor league option should’ve been used on him to begin the year with a more proven major leaguer in his place.

Stewart’s competition has shrunk with Luke Voit doing nothing on the field offensively. Ji-Man Choi is a different story. The veteran first baseman has gone 5 for 14 with 2 doubles and a home run. The downside here is Choi does have an opt out he can use at the end of camp. A strong showing could have him thinking other teams will provide more opportunities for extended playing time. 

In terms of roster construction, Stewart makes much more sense because of his ability to play the outfield. If he does make the Opening Day roster, the leash could be short.