By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on March 11, 2014
There are still a lot of empty spots on the New York Mets’ roster with less than three weeks before the start of the regular season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a crack at predicting the 25 players that will be with the Mets on opening day. So with three weeks of spring training left before the season, here is the official prediction of the Mets’ opening day roster.
Until Chris Young or Eric Young Jr. begin to struggle, Lagares is going to be the team's fourth outfielder. He'll get regular playing time, but he won't be in the starting lineup on opening day.
Recker has some competition in camp, but he worked well with the pitching staff last year and brings some power of the bench. He's a trustworthy backup to Travis d'Arnaud.
Who will be the other half of the platoon remains a mystery, but Satin should play a lot of first base against left-handed starters and get important pinch-hitting assignments late in games.
With Ruben Tejada the projected shortstop, the Mets know they need someone they can trust backing him up. While he's not the best option at shortstop, the Mets know what to expect from Omar Quintanilla if Tejada gets off to another disastrous start.
Brown may not get too many starts, but he'll provide power off the bench that the Mets need.
All indications are that Parnell is healthy after offseason neck surgery, meaning he should be ready to be the team's closer when the season begins.
Black has had a good spring, and if he continues to pitch well he'll get a lot of work in the eighth inning as the primary setup man for Bobby Parnell.
Familia has looked great this spring. Not only should he make the team, but he'll be an important setup man if he continues to throw the ball the way he has thus far.
Rice is going to get a lot of work this season as the Mets' primary lefty specialist.
The Mets will need a veteran presence in their bullpen, and that's what they'll get from Valverde, even if he's not the same caliber of pitcher he once was.
Torres is a virtual lock to make team, as he can fill a variety of roles in the Mets' bullpen and be an effective pitcher.
The Mets need a second lefty in their bullpen as well as a long man, and Lannan will be both for them after failing to win the fifth starter spot.
As long as he stays healthy, d'Arnaud will be the Mets' opening day catcher and their primary catcher for a long time to come.
Both Duda and Ike Davis are hurt, but Duda should make it back in time for the season. The same can't be said for Davis, which is why Duda will get the start on opening day while Davis hits the disabled list.
Murphy is one of the few players the Mets know they can count on this year, and he'll be playing every day at second base.
At least for now, Tejada is the everyday shortstop. But he hasn't exactly impressed early in camp, and the Mets could explore outside options if they want.
Wright will be hitting third and playing third base for the Mets on opening day and all season long.
The Mets need Young's speed at the top of their lineup, and that's going to put him in the starting lineup on opening day over Juan Lagares.
The Mets promised Young playing time when they signed him, so he's going to get the first crack at playing center field. But he's going to have to prove over the first month of the season that he can be an everyday player after the worst season of his career in 2013.
Granderson will likely hit cleanup and play right field for the Mets, and they need him to hit for power as well as give David Wright some protection in the lineup.
Niese gave the Mets a scare with an arm injury early in camp, but he's fine now and should be in line for the opening day start.
The 40-year old Colon should end up being the Mets' No. 2 starter and with any luck a viable replacement to the injured Matt Harvey.
Gee will be the No. 3 starter for the Mets, mainly to break up the power pitchers in the Mets' rotation.
Wheeler has somehow been forgotten about this spring, but he has the ability to be the Mets' best starter this year.
There's still a long way to go in the competition for the Mets' fifth starter spot, but Mejia is the most talented pitcher in the competition. Instead of sending him to the bullpen or to the minors, the Mets are better off with him in their rotation at the start of the season.
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