Like it or not, Mets manager Terry Collins has selected the 25-man roster that will open the 2016 season Sunday in Kansas City. Most of the selections were obvious, with nothing considered a major surprise.
Introducing the 2016 New York Mets:
Matt Harvey: He’s not talking, but most babies can’t. That’s all right as long as his pitching gives us something to talk about. It hasn’t so far this spring, but he gets a clean slate starting tonight.
Noah Syndergaard: Will start the season’s second game. There’s talk of retaliation, but that’s ludicrous. He just might have the highest ceiling of any of the Mets’ young arms.
Jacob deGrom: Will get the ball for the home opener Friday. Is carving a reputation as the Mets’ best big-game pitcher.
Steven Matz: Roughed up early in spring training, but closed strong. Still hasn’t been determined when he’ll get first start.
Jeurys Familia: Had great regular season, but struggled in the World Series. He might have won job by default, but he controls his own destiny.
Addison Reed: The designated set-up reliever, but is capable of closing if needed.
Antonio Bastardo: Lefty specialist. Had a rough spring training.
Jerry Blevins: Lefty is back after missing most of last year with a broken arm.
Logan Verrett: Capable of working in long relief and as spot starter. Started over Harvey last year to give Mets vital victory.
Jim Henderson: Former Brewers closer won spot.
Hansel Robles: Will serve two-game suspension to start season. Has reputation for quick-pitching and losing his composure.
Travis d’Arnaud: His health and throwing are two biggest concerns. Scouts believe if he stays healthy he could have 20-homer capability.
Kevin Plawecki: Thought he might open season in Triple-A. One of Collins’ challenges is to get him enough at-bats to stay sharp.
Lucas Duda: Has hit 57 homers over the past two years. Needs to cut strikeouts and use the entire field more than he does.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Missed much of spring training with a strained knee but will start tonight. Considered a defensive upgrade.
David Wright: His back will always be a question. It’s anybody’s guess as to how many games he’ll play this season.
Wilmer Flores: Scheduled to back up each of the infield positions, which could turn out to be his niche. Are 20 homers a possibility?
Eric Campbell: Can also play in the outfield. Could be the first choice to back up Wright.
Michael Conforto: Just let him play against left-handers so we can see what he’s all about. It could be a breakout year for him if they give him the at-bats.
Yoenis Cespedes: They are tied into him for $27.5 million this year. Should play left instead of center. Mind and hustle have tendency to wander.
Curtis Granderson: Surprised a lot of people last year at the leadoff spot. I’d love to see another 90-plus walks with 30 homers.
Juan Lagares: The team’s best defensive player won Gold Glove award two years ago. Is seemingly healthy. When he plays it should be in center with Cespedes moving to left.
Alejandro De Aza: Was signed as the reserve outfielder before Cespedes was brought back. Could be available in a trade.
ON DECK: Mets’ over/unders for 2016.