Mets camp is open, and we're just a little over six weeks away from Opening Day. So as we sit and stare at our calendars, aching for the last few weeks of winter to pass, let's kill some time and try to project what New York's 25-man roster will look like on March 29.
This, of course, assumes that the Mets make it out of camp completely healthy, which is the most teams can ask for out of Spring Training. But provided they do, here's how I see it shaking up:
If you count everyone up, you'll notice that's 24 names. I think the 25th man will be someone not on the roster yet, and it will be a pitcher.
While I would love if that was Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, I don't think it will be. Instead, I think the Mets will look to add a lefty who can act as both as a spot-starter and/or a LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY). To me, that means Jaime Garcia or Jason Vargas. You'll notice that currently Matz (pictured below) and Blevins are the only lefties I project to make the 25-man. With the tough lefthanded bats the Mets will see with regularity (namely Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy), they'll probably want to have another southpaw, especially if they hope to avoid burning out Blevins.
I think Gsellman's future is in short-relief. His numbers are serviceable the first and second times through the order, but once hitters see him for a third time, the slash line balloon (.329/.393/.537 in his career, .323/.383/.583 last season on his third time through). Gsellman got a taste of the bullpen last season, and in three games, gave up four hits and walked one, but also struck out four, so there's a glimmer of promise there. If the Mets don't want to give up the ghost on Gsellman as a starter just yet, I think they'd send him down to start the year and use Hansel Robles in his place.
Michael Conforto is likely to return in May, and once he does, the Mets can evaluate what they'll do to make room. The easiest thing would just be to send down a pitcher, and that's probably what they'll do. But depending on how Gonzalez does (and how Dom Smith is hitting in Vegas), the Mets could keep their 13-man staff and move on from A-Gon, should he show that he doesn't have anything left in the tank.
And if you think a 13-man staff is overkill, remember that Mickey Callaway has promised to use a six-man rotation at times this season, as well as give players extra rest whenever he can. As he told Darren and me on Orange and Blue Thing, that includes telling certain pitchers they're unavailable on a given night and sticking to that, no matter what the situation.
So 44 days out, that's where I think we are. And frankly, it's a pretty solid squad. Good enough to dethrone the Nats? Get me another arm and then we'll talk.
Come out to our tailgate party on June 18th before the Mets take on the Marlins at Citi Field. The game starts at 4:10pm which is perfect for a pre-game meet up. Swing by to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down a couple cold ones.