The New York Mets open up the regular season in Florida against the Marlins on Friday, April 1. While Mike Pelfrey has been tabbed the Opening Day starter for quite some time now, Sunday morning the rest of the 25-man roster became much clearer.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, Pedro Beato will make the Mets, while Brad Emaus will get the nod at second base. Willie Harris, Scott Hairston, Chin-lung Hu and Daniel Murphy have also made the team. So how does that leave the roster and which positions are still up for grabs? Let's take a look:
Starters: Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, R.A. Dickey, Chris Young, Chris Capuano
Bullpen: Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz, Pedro Beato.
Still In The Running: Right now there are three options for the final spot in the bullpen: Jason Isringhausen, Blaine Boyer and Manny Acosta. Isringhausen hasn't pitched in the past week with inflammation in his elbow -- but did throw in a minor league game -- and reports indicate he will not accept a minor league assignment. He has thrown six innings, allowed one run, two hits and struckout three -- and is supposed to pitch today. Boyer has also had an impressive spring, allowing one run on four hits in nine innings, while fanning seven. Accosta has been solid as well: 10.2 IP, six hits, two earned runs and nine strikeouts.
Last Word: If Isringhausen is fully healthy, I get the feeling that management wants to send him north with the big league team. That being said, it's a plus to have serviceable arms in the minors -- and with Izzy's injury track record, they'll most likely be needed in his place this year.
Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas
Last Word: The Mets signed Ronny Paulino, who was expected to miss the season's first eight games due to a PED suspension, to platoon with Thole and provide a solid right-handed bat against tough lefties, but yesterday the team announced that they had shutdown Paulino due to irregularities in his blood. Thole should be a decent on-base/average guy and with Paulino, when healthy and back in the lineup, could be an above average tandem behind the plate.
First Base -- Ike Davis
Second Base -- Brad Emaus
Shortstop -- Jose Reyes
Third Base -- David Wright
Utility -- Chin-lung Hu and Daniel Murphy.
Last Word: Besides Davis, the Mets' infield may not be the slickest with the glove, but it has the potential to be well-above average with the bat. Murphy should wield a solid stick off the bench or in a utility role and Hu provides some defensive wizardry. Both are clear upgrades over the likes of Alex Cora.
Jason Bay, Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran, Willie Harris, Scott Hairston
Headed To The DL? -- Beltran is slated to play in another minor league game -- five innings today -- and though the probability of him making the Opening Day roster seems slim because everything needs to go perfectly from now until then, he has been progressing nicely over the past few days.
Still In The Running -- Nick Evans has had an excellent spring: .348/.394/.439 in a team-high 66 at-bats, yet the chances of him making the club hinge on Beltran's health. If Beltran makes the team out of the gate, Evans will most likely not be a Met because he has no options left. If Beltran is placed on the DL, then Evans remains in New York for the time being. He's never really been given enough of a shot in the big leagues, but could be a good fourth outfielder for many teams.