Revisiting Mets' projected Opening Day roster

Club still has decisions to make about back end of rotation, bullpen

March 12th, 2018

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Exactly four weeks into Spring Training, but still two and a half shy of Opening Day, it's time to revisit the roster projections that appeared in this space before camp began. Not much has changed; some minor injuries have reared their heads, but nothing that should affect the composition of the 25 Mets who will toe the line on March 29.
Still, Spring Training has offered some revelations. Here's a look at where things stand two-thirds of the way through camp:
Catcher (2):,
No changes here, save for Plawecki's strong spring opening the possibility of him earning even more playing time than d'Arnaud -- the presumptive starter heading into camp. Manager Mickey Callaway said last weekend that Plawecki and d'Arnaud could platoon at catcher, with the former starting against right-handed pitchers and the latter playing versus lefties.
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First base (2):,
Although entered spring with a chance to play his way onto the roster, a right quad strain has kept him out of game action. Given that situation, Callaway quipped that this isn't much of a competition anymore. There's little reason to believe that will change.
Second base (1):
Cabrera is quietly plugging along as the Mets' second baseman, though and Flores will also likely see time at the position. While has enjoyed a nice spring, he is ticketed for the starting job at Triple-A Las Vegas barring injury.

Shortstop (2):, Reyes
Rosario also missed nearly a week due to injury, but he returned with plenty of time to prepare himself for the regular season. If Rosario struggles to stay healthy or productive, Reyes could begin eating into his playing time.
Third base (1):
Never a realistic threat to break camp with the Mets, has made little apparent progress this spring as he tries to work his way back from back and right shoulder issues. The Mets anticipated that, which is why they acquired Frazier to be their full-time third baseman.
Outfield (4):, , ,
With targeting a May 1 return from left shoulder surgery, the four names here are the ones who should break camp. Nimmo in particular has opened eyes with his bat, prompting many to believe he could start in center field and bat leadoff. But the Mets remain intrigued by the glove of Lagares, who still has time to wrest the majority of playing time away from his teammate.

Starters (5):, , , Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler
If the Mets are serious about this being an open competition, then Wheeler has earned the nod thanks to eight strikeouts, zero walks and a 1.80 ERA in five spring innings. The battle at the back end of the rotation has grown increasingly interesting, with Matz -- a favorite heading into camp -- pitching poorly while Wheeler, and have all thrived. The top four spots, at least, are all but set now that Harvey has demonstrated his ability to be a serviceable starter.
Bullpen (8):, AJ Ramos, , , , Matt Purke, , Lugo
Familia, Ramos, Blevins and Swarzak are locks, but the Mets could go in any direction with the other four. A favorite coming into camp, Sewald has only bolstered his chances with a 1.42 ERA in six Grapefruit League games. , on the other hand, may have played himself out of a job, producing a 13.50 ERA. That could open up a spot for Purke, who is unscored upon in four outings, to make the team as a second lefty.

Beyond that? Take your pick. Montero still seems likely to make the team because he is out of Minor League options, but Callaway recently spoke critically of him. The Mets appear committed to carrying at least one of their starter candidates -- Matz, Gsellman, Lugo or Wheeler -- in the bullpen, with the others likely to stay stretched out at Triple-A Las Vegas. For now, we'll project Lugo as a reliever, given his prior experience in that role.