Reese Kaplan -- The Final Cut(s)


It’s getting close to opening day and the Mets must pare down the existing roster to the 25 men who will come north (well, 24 plus the two-game suspension of Hansel Robles).  Towards that end some of the early spring training prognostications require some tweaking as things have not developed exactly according to the original plan.  To wit, here’s my take on who should come north:

The Starters:

1B           Lucas Duda
2B           Neil Walker
SS           Asdrubal Cabrera
3B           David Wright
C             Travis d’Arnaud
LF            Michael Conforto
CF           Yoenis Cespedes
RF           Curtis Granderson

The Bench:

IF            Wilmer Flores
IF            Matt Reynolds
C             Johnny Monell
OF          Juan Lagares
OF          Alejandro De Aza

The Rotation:

SP           Jacob De Grom
SP           Matt Harvey
SP           Noah Syndergaard
SP           Steve Matz
SP           Bartolo Colon

The Pen:

RP           Jeurys Familia
RP           Addison Reed
RP           Antonio Bastardo
RP           Jerry Blevins
RP           Jim Henderson
RP           Logan Verrett
RP           Hansel Robles

There are two to three names that require some explanation here.  First of all, the Mets currently have 39 people on the 40 man roster, including Zack Wheeler who will be transferred to the 60-day DL.  That frees up two spots for adding non-roster players without dropping any of the current people from the 40-man list.  The first of these spots can be used for Jim Henderson who has been brilliant this spring.  The Henderson move is pretty much a lightning-in-a-bottle no-brainer.  If he succeeds, then the team looks like geniuses.  If not, you haven’t kicked anyone off the roster and have reinforcements in AAA.

The more controversial move is Johnny Monell over Kevin Plawecki.  I see this one as a short-term move for perhaps just the month of April to give Plawecki steady playing time and to balance out the right handedness of the bench with another lefty bat.  His roster spot opens up with the Wheeler 60-day DL move.  He becomes a sacrificial lamb in May.

The third one is the most puzzling perhaps -- Logan Verrett.  He’s another May or June sacrificial lamb who will likely be banished to AAA once Josh Edgin returns.  He’s been in 6 games for 11 IP (2 as a starter) and delivered a 1.64 ERA.  Given the lefties already slated for the pen in Bastardo and Blevins (with Edgin coming soon), another lefty might be superfluous. 

The losers in this scenario include Erik Goeddel who got a very late start to his spring and needs to get some more innings under his belt, Sean Gilmartin whose future value as a trade chip probably increases as a starter rather than as a middle reliever, Kevin Plawecki and Eric Campbell.  Having another true middle infielder in Matt Reynolds renders Campbell unnecessary with Wilmer Flores able to cover either corner if needed.  The outfield is already deep with Lagares and De Aza, so another right handed bat (with limited major league success) doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Of course, historically the team has shown a propensity for going with the familiar option.  Towards that end you could make the cases for Campbell, Plawecki and Gilmartin quite easily, but it’s likely not the best way to handle the resources. 

What do you all think?


Ernest Dove said...

I still want Plawecki on the 25man. Its not the same as a pitcher but lets not forget how little games d'arnaud has actually played the last couple years. Even while healthy I'd give em regular rest in 2016. Maybe assign Plawecki to be the designated catcher for one of the aces or for Colon or something.

Tom Brennan said...

Any World Series caliber team has to have Matt Reynolds, as I have been saying for years :)

If Gilmartin does not make it, what a sin. Who would you rather have, Niese or Gilmartin? I'd take the G Man, so a return to the minors would be unfair.

For Monell, I wish baseball would go to a 26 man roster, so the teams could carry 3 catchers again. If that happened, Monell (with a fine spring) would have a solid MLB career.

I am OK with Plawecki going down for a month or two. If Herrera can go, so can he.

Reese Kaplan said...

My thinking (perhaps validated by yesterday's game which took place after I wrote this piece) was that the Mets see Gilmartin as a starter and Verrett as a reliever/spot starter. Note that in the game it was Sean who started and Logan who came in later. Logan was once again a tad better. If Gilmartin was on the radar to relieve he likely wouldn't be starting. I think they feel he's the next in line should an injury befall one of the members of the rotation. If not, then a solid (3.00 ERA type) AAA season as a starter would make him a valuable trade chip.

Verrett, as I said, is expendable when Josh Edgin returns. He can then resume starting duties in AAA. Remember, Erik Goeddel will be healthy enough to pitch regularly at some point, too.

Hobie said...

I could see a 6-man BP (+Colon) and carrying 3 catchers for the first week in KC.

When Robles returns one of the catchers goes to LV

Richard Jones said...

I like Gilmartin as a starter. In MLB baseball you could need 9 or 10 starters to get through a season. I hope the Mets only use 7 this year. The current 5 plus Wheeler. They likely will use a 6 man rotation a few times during the year. I think that will be Gilmartin. Verrett would be the 8th starter. I don't know who would come next and I hope that question doesn't get answered.

I know it seems unfair to Gilmartin but I think it is the right thing to do. I see him going up and down during the season. I also think he could have serious trade value, as a starter, come July.

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