Some Surprises As Opening Day Roster Takes Shape

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rice 2The Mets made some moves yesterday to clear out the 40-man roster in preparation for Opening Day. Here’s what happened:

  • The Mets exposed Darin Gorski and Reese Havens to the waiver wire to clear two more spots. Both cleared waivers and are headed to the minors, according to Adam Rubin.
  • In a bit of a surprising move, the Mets sent Robert Carson, Omar Quintanilla, and Landon Powell to Triple-A Las Vegas. It had been reported this week that Carson had actually won the job as the Mets’ second lefty in the bullpen, but they opted to send him down instead. Quintanilla’s demotion was also a bit of a surprise considering the health of Justin Turner, who may begin the season on the DL. Powell lost the backup catcher job to Anthony Recker, who was the favorite all spring because a roster spot didn’t have to be cleared for him to make the team.
  • The Mets selected the contracts of Scott Atchison, Marlon Byrd, LaTroy Hawkins, and in another surprise, Scott Rice from Triple-A Las Vegas. Atchison, Byrd, and Hawkins were all expected to make the team, especially after they performed this spring, but Rice was a real longshot. Rice, 31, has never pitched in a major league game and is a 14-year minor league veteran. He has pitched in the Orioles, Rangers, Padres, Rockies, and Dodgers organizations. Last season in Triple-A Albuquerque, he made 54 appearances, totaling 59.1 innings and posting a 4.40 ERA. He will be the second lefty in the bullpen behind Josh Edgin.
  • That leaves two spots open right now. According to Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger, those two remaining spots will go to either Zach Lutz, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Justin Turner. With Turner likely starting the season on the DL, the spots will probably go to Lutz and Nieuwenhuis.

With that, here’s what the projected Mets roster looks like for Opening Day:

Catchers (2): John Buck, Anthony Recker

Infielders (4): Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, David Wright

Outfielders (4): Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter

Bench (3): Jordany Valdespin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Zach Lutz

Starting Pitchers (4): Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner

Relief Pitchers (8): Bobby Parnell, Scott Atchison, Brandon Lyon, LaTroy Hawkins, Josh Edgin, Scott Rice, Greg Burke, Jeurys Familia

Notice how Shaun Marcum is not on this projection. He will start the season on the DL, but will be activated within the first week of the season, meaning one of the eight pitchers from the bullpen will be sent down. MY best guesses would be Greg Burke of Jeurys Familia. The Mets might want to give Familia more development time in the minors before they throw him in the major league bullpen.

About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 17 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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