Reese Kaplan -- If the Injury Bug Bites...

How much depth do the Mets have on their roster?  The early scares from Lucas Duda and the reality of Josh Edgin’s injury got me to thinking how they might address vacancies on the roster given  the current state of in-house options:

Lucas Duda’s abdominal strain demonstrated how thin the Mets are when it comes to trying to replace his power.  If there was a long term injury to the big man, the Mets would likely move Michael Cuddyer to the infield to take over for him temporarily.  Plan B would be John Mayberry.  Other options would include shifting either Daniel Murphy or Wilmer Flores from their positions across the diamond to play 1B.  Eric Campbell is another possibility, but he doesn’t really deliver enough offense for a long term void.  A creative alternative would be to promote Kevin Plawecki to serve as the everyday first baseman and as a third catcher on the roster (which means your backup catcher can then be used as a pinch hitter without fear you’ll be caught short).

This one would be fascinating to see how it would play out.  Obviously you have Ruben Tejada here who could play in place of Daniel Murphy, but the team would suffer a dramatic offensive decline.  Therefore, reaching down into the minors gives you a couple of decent options.  You could slot in Dilson Herrera as they did last year.  He has the advantage of already being on the 40-man roster.  You could also bring up Matt Reynolds and then decide between he and Wilmer Flores who is better suited to the left side and the right side of the infield. 

I could copy and paste the paragraph about 2B (leaving out Dilson Herrera). 

This one would cause perhaps the biggest potential movement of personnel.  Michael Cuddyer could come in from the outfield.  Daniel Murphy or Wilmer Flores could slide over there.  Doing one of those moves would likely mean the arrival of Dilson Herrera or Matt Reynolds to play the vacated position.  Eric Campbell has logged a lot of innings there.  On Wednesday this week Ruben Tejada lost his 3B virginity (and celebrated with 2 hits). 

Travis d’Arnaud is not going to make anyone forget Cal Ripken or Lou Gehrig when it comes to staying on the field, but the Mets are fortunate enough to have another strong hitting catching prospect in Kevin Plawecki waiting for them in Las Vegas.  The other alternatives – Anthony Recker, Johnny Monell and Xorge Carillo – are most likely short term backup catchers at best. 

Should the Mets lose either of their corner outfielders then there are a number of ways to go.  John Mayberry and Kirk Nieuwenhuis could form a platoon pair to take advantage of their hitting strengths.  Eric Campbell could be in the mix.  Matt den Dekker will likely be a phone call away in AAA.  Prospect Brandon Nimmo could also get the call, but considering he is not yet on the 40-man roster, he’s probably not in the conversation. 

Here your options are a bit more limited.  Matt den Dekker would be the obvious choice as CF is his natural position and he’s already on the 40-man roster.  He’s known for his flashy glove work and perhaps you would not suffer too much should the reigning Gold Glover Juan Lagares again hit the DL.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis could play there, too, but he has demonstrated an inability to hit lefties and you’d need a platoon partner for him from the right side.  Eric Campbell hasn’t shown enough defensive prowess to think you’d want him to handle CF for more than a few innings at a time. 

While everyone would be quick to think Dillon Gee would automatically slide from the pen to the rotation should one of the pitchers go down with an injury, that may not actually be the case.  Assume for the moment that your AAA rotation includes Noah Syndergaard, Steve Matz, Rafael Montero, Matt Bowman and one of Tyler Pill, Cory Mazzoni and Darin Gorski.  My guess is they would pluck Montero from AAA and keep Gee where he is as Gee would not have been conditioned to long outings whereas Montero would.  Of course, if it’s after the Super Two deadline, then either Syndegaard or Matz could be on the way to Queens, too…but on an early-season DL stint for a starter my bet would be on Montero.

This one is a little scary.  After the strong bullpen the Mets have built at the major league level it gets thin fairly quickly.  The Josh Edgin injury means both Sean Gilmartin and Dario Alvarez may be headed north, so Scott Rice would be in Las Vegas.  Behind him you have the enigmatic Jack Leathersich, the underwhelming Erik Goeddel and various converted starters.  They could reach further down for someone like Akeel Morris as they did with Alvarez last year, or they could go with the older relievers who fill out the roster like Zack Thornton or Cody Satterwhite.  If it’s Jenrry Mejia who is injured, they would likely figure to muddle through with Jeurys Familia getting the first crack at the closer’s job until Bobby Parnell is ready.  ` 

This exercise pointed out that the team is solid on the infield and in the starting rotation, but there is a serious dearth of power should one of the big boppers hit the DL.  Furthermore, there are rather slim pickings for relief pitchers past the major league level.   


Mack Ade said...

I always worry about Murphy at this time of the year. I don't know why, but I just do.

Mack's Mets © 2012