Predicting The Mets 30-Man Roster

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BASEBALL IS BACK! While it may have taken a painfully long three months to get to this point, the excitement of America’s pastime returning is in full bloom. With Spring Training 2.0 slated to begin July 1st, and the 60 game regular season beginning on July 23-24, I thought it would be a great time to predict the Mets 30-man Opening Day roster, and potential options for their taxi squad.

Opening Day Starting Lineup:

  • Catcher: Wilson Ramos
  • First Base: Pete Alonso
  • Second Base: Robinson Cano
  • Third Base: Jeff McNeil
  • Shortstop: Amed Rosario
  • Left Field: J.D. Davis
  • Center Field: Brandon Nimmo
  • Right Field: Michael Conforto
  • Designated Hitter: Yoenis Cespedes

Analysis: Looking at the Mets starting lineup heading into Opening Day you’d be hard pressed to find a question mark. Michael Conforto should be 100% recovered from his oblique injury suffered in March, and Yoenis Cespedes had already begun taking fly balls as well as almost running the bases at full speed prior to the shutdown of Spring Training. This is as good and deep of a lineup that the Mets have put together in quite some time. If everyone can remain healthy this lineup will put up some great offensive numbers.


Starting Rotation:

  1. Jacob DeGrom RHP
  2. Marcus Stroman RHP
  3. Steven Matz LHP
  4. Rick Porcello RHP
  5. Michael Wacha RHP

Analysis: The Mets were dealt a brutal blow back in March with Noah Syndergaard undergoing Tommy John surgery and being ruled out for the 2020 campaign. Luckily the Mets had made it a priority in the offseason to build rotation depth with the acquistions of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. There was some chatter in Spring Traning prior to Syndergaard going down, whether Matz or Wacha would be pushed to the bullpen. Those questions no longer linger as both players are now fully entrenched in rotation spots. I fully expect a big year from Marcus Stroman who will be playing for a potentially big pay day this offseason. Lastly, DeGrom will be given the ball on Opening Day. The only real question facing DeGrom (the best pitcher in baseball) will be can he accomplish a historic 3-peat for the Cy Young Award?


Bullpen:

  • Edwin Diaz RHP
  • Dellin Betances RHP
  • Seth Lugo RHP
  • Jeurys Familia RHP
  • Robert Gsellman RHP
  • Justin Wilson LHP
  • Brad Brach RHP
  • Walker Lockett RHP
  • Daniel Zamora – LHP
  • Drew Smith – RHP

Analysis: The Mets may have the best bullpen depth of any team in baseball if everybody is healthy and clicking on all cylinders. Edwin Diaz is expected to resume the role of the closer, but with the shortened season his leash will be shorter than it’s ever been.  Should Diaz come out the gate stumbling, the Mets will have Seth Lugo, Dellin Betances, and potentially Jeurys Familia waiting in the wings for save opportunites. Speaking of the latter, the Mets will be expecting a bounce back campaign from the man who is third place on the all-time leaderboard in saves in Mets history. After a disastrous 2019 campaign, Familia had lost 30 pounds in the offseason in hopes of recapturing the magic that led the Mets to re-signing him to a three-year deal last offseason. Rounding out the bullpen, I believe the Mets will carry Walker Lockett as a long reliever and potential backup option in the starting rotation. They also will carry a second left handed reliever they can use out of the bullpen in Daniel Zamora. A bit of a wild card pick for me is Drew Smith. Smith is returning from Tommy John surgery and was expected to be ready to pitch in games by May. If he is indeed healthy, Smith is a darkhorse to win a final spot in the Mets bullpen. In 2018 Smith had posted a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings prior to being injured. The bullpen may be the key piece to this team’s success as the starters may not go as deep into games the first month or so of the season. That equates to everybody in the pen having to bring their A-game daily.


Bench:

  • Dominic Smith – 1B/OF
  • Jake Marisnick – OF
  • Luis Guillorme – INF
  • Jed Lowrie – INF
  • Tomas Nido – C
  • Rene Rivera – C

Analysis: The Mets will have some great flexibilty with their bench, as they have some pieces they can plug and play on any given day. Look for Dominic Smith to get some reps at the DH position and at first base spelling Pete Alonso. Smith also can be regarded as the best bat off the bench for the Mets. The obvious wild card here is Jed Lowrie. Nobody really knows his condition heading into Opening Day, however if he is healthy look for the Mets to use Lowrie as an experienced bench piece. With depth being a key this upcoming season for all clubs, it’s very tough to see the Mets getting rid of Lowrie. You would think BVW and company are hoping he can provide some sort of value for them in the final year of his contract. Also in this scenario I can see the Mets carrying three catchers until the roster trimming begins. Having a solid defensive catcher in Nido and another solid bat off the bench in Rivera will provide late-inning flexibility for the Mets depending on the situations at hand.


Potential Taxi Squad Members:

  • Andres Gimenez INF
  • Stephen Gonsalves LHP
  • Matt Adams INF
  • Eduardo Nunez INF
  • Tyler Bashlor RHP
  • Ali Sanchez C
  • Jacob Rhame RHP
  • Corey Oswalt RHP
  • Paul Sewald RHP
  • Erasmo Ramirez RHP
  • Ryley Gilliam RHP
  • Stephen Nogosek RHP
  • Chasen Shreve LHP
  • Kevin Smith LHP
  • David Peterson LHP
  • Thomas Szapucki LHP
  • Ryan Cordell OF

Analysis: This list is purely speculative, however it combines a mixture of top prospects, non-roster invitees, and some players on the fringe of making the 30-man roster. Look for the Mets to potentially go outside the organization as well to find other players to potentially add on to this list once the transaction freeze is lifted on Friday.

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