I KNOW I'm Wrong, But...Taking a Stab at Projecting the Mets 2011 Roster

By David Rubin

Without further ado...

Every Mets fan, writer, blogger, etc. has been speculating about the make-up of the teams 2011 roster. We all know that some spots are written in stone, but unlike last year, when a full 1/4 of the roster was filled with "dead weight", the 2011 version seems, at least on paper, to not only be far more competitive, but also is filled with the "recovering from injury/potentially large-upside" sort of player (as in Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Taylor Bucholz) who could end up providing great bang for the buck when all is said and done.

Here is my best guess as to how the Opening Day 2011 Roster will look:

Mike Pelfrey
RA Dickey
Jon Niese
Chris Capuano
Chris Young

Frankie Rodriguez
Bobby Parnell
DJ Carrasco
Taylor Bucholz
Pedro Beato
Pat Misch
Manny Acosta

Starting Positional Players
Ike Davis - 1B
Brad Emaus - 2B
Jose Reyes - SS
David Wright - 3B
Jason Bay - LF
Carlos Beltran - CF
Angel Pagan - RF
Josh Thole - C

Chin-lung Hu (Inf)
Daniel Murphy (Inf - LF)
Nick Evans (1B/3B - OF)
Scott Hairston (OF/2B)
Ronny Paulino (C)*

*Because of his suspension to start the season, Mike Nickeas will probably be the back-up catcher until Paulino returns.

Best Chances of Being Wrong: Tim Byrdak will PROBABLY make the Opening Day roster, and Manny Acosta won't; Daniel Murphy's bat is too tempting to leave on the bench and Manager Terry Collins gives him the starting role with Emaus backing up 2B & 3B.

Assumptions Made: The Mets will begin with 7 relievers, especially in light of the fact that both Young and Capuano are returning from injuries and Pat Misch, the potential SP6, is out of options. Once one or both starters prove they're healthy, it's possible the team might go from 5 to 6 bench players, helping either Emaus or Murphy's transition into the starting role at second base.

Additionally, there will be a number of players vying for a roster spot this Spring, including:

Pitcher: Tim Byrdak, Taylor Tankersley, Manny Alvarez, Dillon Gee & Boof Bonser.
Infield: Justin Turner, Luis Hernandez, Russ Adams
Outfield: Willie Harris, Fernando Martinez, Lucas Duda
Catcher: Mike Nickeas

I am NOT putting either Ollie Perez or Luis Castillo on this list, as I don't think either one has a remote chance of actually making the 25 man roster - I pray this isn't simply wishful thinking on my part.

Last year's Opening Day/Early Season Roster included the likes of Mike Jacobs, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Alex Cora, Jeff Francoeur, John Maine, Ollie Perez, Ryota Igarashi, Fernando Nieve, Sean Green & Frank Catalanotto - (all are now gone, although Igarashi, recently put on waivers, may end up back in camp via a non-roster invite) - in other words, 11 players who provided exactly NOTHING to the team last season (okay, Frenchy had his moments, but overall was yet another bust) - at least the 2011 team seems to feature far more competition for roster spots with far fewer potential "dead-weights" on the 40-man roster. AND- even WITH a roster in transition and hit with tons of injuries, we were STILL only 2 games behind the Atlanta Braves as of July 5th.

One last thought: if the 2010 could compete that long, and with almost $60 million coming off the books in 2012, one has to think that, should the Mets find themselves competing at that same point this season, Sandy & company will SURELY be in play to bring in one or more missing pieces to keep the team in contention.

Call me a crazy fan, or overly optimistic, but I remain 100% ENTHUSIASTIC for the Mets 2011 season!!!! The words "play ball" can NOT come soon enough!!!!!


Guz said...

Looks about like what I picture. Only thing is we will definitely need to carry a traditional LOOGY. Even though Misch is lefthanded, his stats against lefties aren't what you would want from that role. Replace him with either Tankersley or Byrdak and maybe both make team if Beato flounders. With Bonser, Gee, and even Buchholz having past starting experience, I think that makes Misch expendable. But, you never know what injuries/trades/etc might happen before opening day. Anyway, go Mets!


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