1 Mets player in the Opening Day lineup who will be benched by the All-Star break

Aside from Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' outfield is up for grabs this season.
Mar 3, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA;  New York Mets right fielder Starling Marte (6) and
Mar 3, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets right fielder Starling Marte (6) and / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have shuffled through potential Opening Day lineups in recent games. Carlos Mendoza has experimented with different cleanup hitters such as Brett Baty and Jeff McNeil. We have also seen Tyrone Taylor swap between hitting leadoff and ninth in the order. Mendoza has even alluded to utilizing Brandon Nimmo differently this season given the leadoff profile of some of their young prospects. The two staples figure to be Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor hitting right in the middle.

As with every Opening Day lineup, not every player will possess the same role for the entire season. As an example, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith were the team's everyday third baseman and left fielder to start the season. By the trade deadline, the Mets had moved on from the duo by playing Jonathan Villar at third base and trading for Javier Baez, which moved McNeil to the outfield. From the projected 2024 Opening Day lineup, which player will be benched by the All-Star break?

Starling Marte will not be the starting right fielder in July

In reviewing Mendoza's lineup, some of the players figure to have short leashes given their recent performances. Harrison Bader is coming off a season in which he only played 98 games while Baty and Vientos disappointed in a similar sample size. However, Bader was signed primarily for defensive purposes with the ladder being a part of the David Stearns "evaluation process".

This leaves Starling Marte as the most notable player coming off a mediocre 2024 season. He only played in 86 games hitting just .248 with 5 home runs and 7 doubles. His spring training statistics do not provide much optimism either. Marte has hit .167 with 4 RBI in 34 at-bats.

Marte's decline is inevitable as he enters his age 35 season. With the Mets building for the future more so than winning a championship in 2024, there is no reason to justify Marte's 4-year contract. With Drew Gilbert waiting in the wings, a great start at AAA Syracuse could earn him an early-season promotion.

Furthermore, the Mets displayed their future outfield at the spring breakout game with Jett Williams starting in center field. This meant Gilbert switched from his natural position and started in right field, which figures to be his best path to the majors. Keeping this in mind, the Mets have a plethora of quality corner outfield options that fit the front office's plan more so than Marte.

Finally, with Stearns' commitment to defense, it's difficult to justify Bader being benched by July in favor of Marte sticking in right field. We saw a clear regression in Marte's range last season to where he became more of a DH/RF platoon. Though the 35-year-old should not be handed a starting role for all of 2024, he still is valuable as a right-handed bat off the bench should Gilbert supersede him by the All-Star break.