Willie Randolph is fond of saying spring training is an open competition, but that’s not really the case with the Mets this year. Here’s the way I see how the Mets’ 25-man could shake out.
The only real competition I see, barring injuries, is for the fifth starter. Don’t agree? Let me know.
Paul Lo Duca
Comments: Lo Duca is healthy from surgery on this thumb. They’ve always liked Castro for the way he handles pitchers.
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Jose Valentin
SS Jose Reyes
3B David Wright
Comments: Delgado is a given. Valentin gave them more than they expected last season so don’t be surprised if there is a drop-off. All-Stars Wright and Reyes should continue to develop. Bench: They probably regret giving Franco two years. Easley can play just about anywhere in the infield. Newhan can also play the outfield.
Comments: Beltran is an MVP candidate. Alou is a health question. Green is on the decline. Chavez was superb coming off the bench and played more than expected. The Mets like Johnson’s versatility.
Starting pitchers (5)
Comments: Glavine and Hernandez are both over 40 and six-inning pitchers tops. Realistically, based on last year, who doesn’t expect Maine? Perez is a power arm and makes the staff with any kind of spring training. The fifth starter will come from Dave Williams, Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, Alay Soler and Jason Vargas.
Comments: Sure, Wagner makes you shake sometimes in the ninth, but he’s set. Sanchez said his shoulder would be ready by spring training. If so, he’s the eighth inning set-up guy. The Mets had their chance to deal Heilman, but didn’t. Pencil him in for the seventh. They like Burgos’ arm and think pitching coach Rick Peterson can solve his control problems. You don’t give Schoeneweis three years and leave him off the roster. Sosa is loaded with potential and a contract.