Mets trim roster; Herrera among 13 to go

March 15th, 2016

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Infielder Dilson Herrera, who is away from camp representing Team Colombia in World Baseball Classic qualifiers, was among 13 cuts Tuesday morning for the Mets. The Mets also sent first-round Draft picks Brandon Nimmo (2011), Gavin Cecchini ('12) and Dominic Smith ('13) to Minor League camp.

Herrera, 22, was the favorite to start at second base for the Mets before the team traded for Neil Walker in December. That move pushed Herrera back to a starting role for Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit .327 with 11 home runs in 81 games last season. The Mets still consider Herrera their second baseman of the future.

Nimmo and Cecchini -- ranked Nos. 5 and 4, respectively, among Mets prospects by -- also figure to spend the bulks of their seasons at Las Vegas. Both are strong bets to make their big league debuts in 2017, if not late this summer.

The Mets also sent pitchers Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Gabriel Ynoa, Jeff Walters, Josh Smoker, Duane Below and Stolmy Pimentel to Minor League camp, along with infielder Marc Krauss and outfielder Travis Taijeron.

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Smoker in particular enticed the Mets early this spring, a year after the organization signed the former first-round Draft pick as a Minor League free agent. But he struggled in Grapefruit League play, posting a 5.79 ERA in four games.

Taijeron came to camp seemingly with an outside chance to make the club as well, and he did nothing to hurt his cause with a .381 average and a .440 on-base percentage in 24 plate appearances. But unless the Mets make a trade later this spring, they remain stocked with five outfielders at the big league level.

With 19 days until Opening Day, the Mets' roster stands at 39 players.