If you trust Adam Rubin of ESPN New York and his sources, then the Mets Opening Day roster picture is quickly coming into focus. Rubin says that as long as Byrdak doesn’t somehow recover from knee surgery in time to make the roster, the Mets will start out with Daniel Herrera as the lefty specialist in the bullpen. Although it has been reported before that Herrera was not an option for that roster spot, it’s not as though Garrett Olson, Chuck James or Josh Edgin have been outstanding. Right now it looks like Herrera will be on the Opening Day roster.
The only other question mark as far as pitching is concerned is Miguel Batista, who appears to have fended off all competition for the last spot in the bullpen. The Mets have to let him know by Friday if he has made the Opening Day roster, and we expect the answer to be “yes.” Batista, he of a long and unspectacular career, is not a difference maker by any stretch of the imagination, but he sure is good at eating innings when things get out of hand. Also, he somehow pitched a shutout against the Reds in the season finale last September. That was pretty sweet.
With Herrera and Batista as the only possible variables, the rest of the Opening Day bullpen is more or less locked in with Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch, Manny Acosta and Bobby Parnell.
There are no surprises in the look of the rotation, as Johan Santana is still shooting to start next Thursday with R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee rouding out the staff.
As for the lineup, there is a spot of good news. Last week we were frightened at the prospect of having to start Jason Bay in center field, but now it appears that both Andres Torres and his understudy Scott Hairston will be ready to go on Opening Day. For now, the first lineup looks like this:
1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Daniel Murphy, 2B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Lucas Duda, RF
7. Josh Thole, C
8. Ruben Tejada, SS
The bench should comprise of Mike Nickeas, Mike Baxter, Ronny Cedeno, Justin Turner and Hairston.
Of course, the Mets still do have a few more spring training games to play before the season takes off. Tonight, they play the Astros at Digital Domain Park at 6:10 PM. You can watch on SNY or listen on 660 WFAN.