Nimmo included as Mets set Opening Day roster

April 7th, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets had been enjoying a charmed camp until the final week of spring, when injuries began throwing their roster into flux. First it was , who suffered a shoulder injury that could cost him two months or more. Then it was , whose hamstring tweak prevented him from filling in for deGrom on Opening Day.

Beyond the obvious disappointment of losing two stars for any length of time, the Mets had to deal with the roster implications of those injuries.

MLB and the MLBPA announced last month that teams will be able to carry 28 players (29 for doubleheaders), up from 26 from Opening Day, through May 1. Additionally, there will be no limit on how many pitchers they can carry as part of the expanded 28-man rosters. However, rosters will revert to 26 players with a 13-pitcher maximum on May 2.

On Thursday, the Mets made their final decisions and set their roster for their 7:05 p.m. matchup with the Nats in Washington:

Catcher (2): James McCann, Tomás Nido
No surprises here, as Nido is out of Minor League options and didn’t face much competition for the backup job as a result. Last year, Nido was able to wrest some time away from McCann, at least until an injury disrupted his season. McCann once again enters the season as the clear starter behind the plate, but if he continues to struggle, that could open the door for additional Nido opportunities. (The organization’s top prospect, Francisco Álvarez, is still at least a year away from making an impact.)

First base (2): Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith
While Alonso will reprise his role as the everyday starter at first base, the universal designated hitter will allow the Mets to give him half days of rest on occasion. That should open some chances for Smith -- who will also play a bit of left field and DH -- at his natural position.

Second base (2): Jeff McNeil, Robinson Canó
Manager Buck Showalter made it clear at the outset of Spring Training that McNeil, not Canó, will be his primary second baseman. But Canó will still see plenty of time here, with Luis Guillorme and Eduardo Escobar also filling in when needed.

Third base (2): Eduardo Escobar, J.D. Davis
One of the Mets’ most prominent offseason additions was Escobar, a consistent power threat from the hot corner who hit three home runs in 25 Grapefruit League at-bats. Davis, who will likely see the bulk of his reps at DH, is a candidate to play third base, left field and right field as well.

Shortstop (2): Francisco Lindor, Luis Guillorme
Last year, Lindor appeared in only 125 games due to an oblique strain that cost him five weeks. His hope is to start 150-plus games at shortstop this season, which won’t leave much time for anyone else. That’s what the Mets expect from their $361 million superstar.

Outfield (4): Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Travis Jankowski
New York intends to start Canha, Nimmo and Marte from left to right, while working in others -- Smith, Davis and McNeil -- on occasion. The Mets ultimately decided to carry a fifth bench player, Jankowski, who offers plenty of speed and defense. He also provides depth behind Nimmo, who avoided the season-opening IL but continues to deal with a bout of neck stiffness.

Starting pitchers (5): Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill
Scherzer’s hamstring injury was relatively minor, helping him avoid the injured list even if he though he won't pitch Opening Day. The same, obviously, cannot be said of deGrom. To replace him, the Mets went with Megill, who impressed team officials with 6 2/3 shutout innings in camp.

Relievers (9): Edwin Díaz, Seth Lugo, Adam Ottavino, Trevor May, Trevor Williams, Drew Smith, , Chasen Shreve, Sean Reid-Foley
A trade for Rodríguez in the final days of camp provided the Mets with a left-handed lock to make the team. Shreve also made the club as a second lefty option.

Injured list (3): Jacob deGrom, , Jake Reed
Lucchesi, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is already on the 60-day IL. It will be interesting to see if the Mets also place deGrom there to free up 40-man roster space, or if they instead keep open the small chance that their ace could return in late May. Reed, who suffered an oblique injury early in camp, won’t be ready to contribute during the first half of April.