Pre-Spring Training Thoughts

spring-trainingMets pitchers and catchers report officially Saturday, but many of the smart or eager players are already in Port St. Lucie. Yes, the guys are throwing, running, fielding grounders and talking to reporters, who are tweeting out blurry pictures. These are important traditions after all. It’s baseball activities if not actual baseball.

Here’s the reminder: there will be next to no news generated this week unless some pitcher’s arm falls off, or a guy breaks a bone.

Here’s a primer on the major battles for the 2014 Mets.

5th starter
Jenrry Mejia is the incumbent, sort of. He will have to hold off the old guys – John Lannan and Dice K – and the prospects like Jacob deGrom, or Rafael Montero. I regard guys like Cory Mazzoni  and Logan Verrett as better fits in the bullpen. Noah Syndergaard will not make his big league debut until well after the Super-2 deadline. So enjoy watching him in Spring Training, and then wait a few months (Hey, it worked for Harvey and Wheeler).

Mets VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development, Paul DePodesta explained to Kristie Ackert regarding the team’s pitching depth:

Our pitching is at a critical mass. You look at the arms we’ve had at Triple-A and we’ve got pitchers who are very, very close. We know the history, we know not every pitcher makes it, but we have enough of them that certainly some of them will.

“Maybe they are starters, who will transition back to being starters later, or maybe they won’t because they have become so valuable in their role,” DePodesta continued. “Thats the situation we’ve wanted to be in.”

1B
Ike Davis or Lucas Duda?

[Shrugs]

I’m actually more interested in who the right-handed half of the platoon will be. This is Josh Satin’s job to lose as he will mostly have to hold off Wilmer Flores.

Bullpen
I think, that assuming health, and no major spring training meltdown, this unit is pretty close to set for Opening Day.

By my count, six of spots are relatively secure.
Closer: Bobby Parnell
LHP:
Scott Rice, Josh Edgin
RHP: Vic Black, Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia

If the Mets do decide to head north with seven relievers, Gonzalez Germen has the incumbent advantage. He will be fighting more journeymen than prospects: Ryan Reid, Joel Carreno (NRI), Kyle Farnsworth (NRI), Miguel Socolovich (NRI). There’s a chance that deGrom, who worked in Vegas last year as a starter, slides into this battle with a solid spring if Mejia fends him off for a rotation spot. On the prospect side, RHP Jeff Walters, Logan Verrett and Cory Mazzoni, all of whom ended 2013 in double-A, are unlikely to jump the guys in front of them and will begin the year in triple-A Vegas. 

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