Friday, March 4, 2011

And They're Off!

There are four battles currently being waged in the Mets Spring Training Camp. Who will take the 5 available spots on the major league bench? Who will make the rotation? Who will make the bullpen? Who will become the starter at second base? Thus far, we have a few things we KNOW and a few things seem clearer.

The Bench:
Who's Definitely Out:

Luis Castillo - No, he's not definitely off the team but he's not going to stick with the Mets as a bench player. Compare Castillo's ability to play 2B with Murphy, Emaus, Turner and Hu... who can all play multiple positions and tell me who is going to make the bench.

Who's Definitely In:

Ronny Paulino - It's a bit of a duh, though Mike Nickeas will be the guy who starts the year backing up Thole.

Scott Hairston - Hairston is capable of playing all three OF positions and while Harris has the better overall glove, Scott is the one who doesn't have a minor league contract.

Stock Up:

Daniel Murphy - He's played GOOD 3B, can play adequate 1B and looked okay at 2B. He still probably wins the starting job but he's got a great bench skill set and I don't think the Mets would let that slip away.

Nick Evans - He's played himself back into the legit picture of being on the bench. Collins likes him, he's got power and he's out of options. This means that if the Mets don't make room, he's going to be taken. As much as I like Hairston's bat, I'd prefer not losing Evans who has much more potential.
Stock Down: Chin-Lung Hu - Wow! The kid can field. He can also hit weak grounders to the infield. It's rough to give a spot to a guy who is as close as anyone to an automatic out.

The Rotation:

Who's Definitely Out:

Olliver Perez - The Mets have made it official. We have seen Ollie start his last game for the Mets. He's still alive in the race to be a reliever but even that is a bit iffy given that Ollie is as reliable a pitcher as Ozzie Osbourne is reliable to get the words to the National Anthem correct.

Who's Definitely In:

Mike Pelfrey - Ace until Santana returns.

Jonathan Niese - Looked like he might be the Mets top pitcher to start the season.

R.A. Dickey - Looked sharp and in command.

Stock Up:

Chris Young - He starts today but the buzz is that his velocity is back up a bit and he's got a firm hold of the #4 spot right now.

Chris Capuano - Mets seem attached to him relieving but he's pitched well this whole time. I think he'll get a start next week.

Stock Down:

D.J. Carrasco - He's got to worry about making the bullpen at this point.

The Bullpen:

Who's Definitely In:

Francisco Rodriguez - He's the closer and that is a lock.

Bobby Parnell - He may not win the 8th inning job or be the closer of the future but he's got a spot in the pen with his name on it.

Stock Up:

Pedro Beato - Beato has an electric arm and the Mets have liked him for a long time. They DO NOT want to let Beato slip away. Beato has the inside track right now to make the team.

Jason Isringhausen - Jason will retire if he doesn't make the team. I like his chances and I love that he has 6 pitches to hurl at you. He might work his way into that 8th inning job.

Ryota Iggarashi - Iggy was a disappointment in 2010 but he's impressed his coaches in 2011 and might be a part of the mix.

Chris Capuano - Right now, Chris looks like he could win a rotation spot but he'll make the bullpen before not getting ANY job.

Tim Byrdak - The only pitcher I've seen come in and inherit runners. I'd say Byrdak is winning that LOOGY race.

Stock Down:

Manny Alvarez - Alvarez will go back to the minors and probably close for AAA Buffalo. He's got talent and a strong arm but he's just not ready.

Manny Accosta - Accosta still has a shot and I think he's a good reliever. I question if HE believes that too.

Olliver Perez - Ollie had an awful outing and a passable outing. In his favor, the Mets owe him $12 Million. Against him, every fan of the Mets, the fact he's not experienced as a relief pitcher and physics.

Second Base:

Stock Up:

Daniel Murphy - Murphy has only had one start at 2nd but it went well and that is what matters. It's the first step towards him winning the position (as most fans think he will).

Ruben Tejada - Somebody must have taken issue with me calling him a BPAB (Bench Player At Best). Tejada has hit and hit as well as anyone on the Mets (except maybe Nick Evans and Fernando Martinez) this spring. If he continues, I guess the Mets can have offense AND defense up the middle.

Stock Down:

Luis Castillo - His bat and legs aren't going to win him the job so when he has errors in the field... all those easy outs look even worse.

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