It is the same in every spring training camp with winners and losers. Booms and busts. With camp ending today, the Mets had their share of both.
Jon Niese: With Johan Santana a question going in, Niese entered camp No. 1 in the rotation and pitched deserving of that title. Not surprisingly, he was named Opening Day starter. With Santana gone for the year, he’s the de facto ace, at least until Matt Harvey takes over.
Matt Harvey: He took some lumps, but was far more good than bad. Most importantly, he didn’t show any signs of being overwhelmed. With Shaun Marcum hurting, Harvey is now No. 2.
Zack Wheeler: He strained an oblique muscle, but when he pitched he showed a glimpse of things to come. Wheeler was never going to make the Opening Day roster, but should be in Flushing soon enough.
Jeremy Hefner: Reported as a contender for the Triple-A rotation, but with Santana’s injury is now scheduled to be the No. 4 starter.
Jordany Valdespin: Here’s a guy who wasn’t in the Mets’ plans, but took advantage of injuries to Daniel Murphy and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to earn a spot on the roster. That is, unless something dramatic happens today.
Marlon Byrd: He was a spring training pick-up who not only won a spot on the roster, but in the Opening Day lineup.
Travis d’Arnaud: He was always going to open the season in the minors, but stayed healthy and opened a lot of eyes. He’ll be up before the All-Star break. The pitchers like throwing to him.
Lucas Duda: Surprised, aren’t you? Duda had a miserable start with an extraordinary number of strikeouts, but finished strong to give him confidence going into the season.
Johan Santana: It was a rocky spring for Santana, who responded in anger at criticism from GM Sandy Alderson about not being in shape by throwing off the mound ahead of schedule. He never got on the mound again and it is possible he never will.
Shaun Marcum: He didn’t endear himself to the Mets by showing up to camp in poor shape and could open the season on the disabled list.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: He was penciled in as the leadoff hitter in center fielder, but missed most of camp with a bruised knee. Amazingly, because of the Mets’ dismal situation in the outfield, he still has a chance despite hitting less than .100.
Dillon Gee: He came to camp a health question, and while he says there are no complications from surgery to repair an artery in his shoulder, he had several rough starts. He had a good one toward the end, but wasn’t consistent, especially with his change-up.
Ruben Tejada: He hit better than expected last season, and didn’t hit at all this spring. In most camps, hitting less than .100 would be a ticket to the minors, but the Mets have little alternatives.