Adam Rubin relays some things he's heard about the final spots that are still up for grabs:
Mets officials appeared to be leaning toward placing Orlando Hernandez on the DL to start the season, paving the way for Mike Pelfrey to make at least two startsJust to reiterate, I'm supporting Pelfrey (or even Nelson Figueroa), Smith and Clark for the final spots.
Joe Smith also looked close to claiming the final spot in the bullpen, a vacancy created with Duaner Sanchez not yet ready for regular-season action.
Fernando Tatis also seemed to hold a lead over Brady Clark for the final bench spot, but a team insider insisted Tatis — who had a .212 Grapefruit League average — was not a foregone conclusion to be on the roster.
If the Mets take Pelfrey, he won't be able to work on his mechanics as much, as he will have to win the game he is in. If he waits and stays in minor league camp, the results don't matter, so he can stay in a game even if he's given up a few runs just to work on his pitches. What do the Mets have to lose if they pitch Figueroa? Nothing. Why not give him a shot?
Smith, who struggled mightily early in spring, has come on strong these last few weeks. Yesterday was a great game for him, when he came in with the bases loaded, and got Alexi Ramirez to strike out on three pitches. Inherited runners was a huge problem for Smith last year and if he can remedy that, it would be a huge accomplishment.
Again, I don't get why Tatis is so wonderful. Sure, he can play pretty much any position besides center field if need be, but he doesn't play any of them especially well. We already have two guys in Marlon Anderson and Damion Easley who can play the entire infield and two guys in Endy Chavez and Angel Pagan who can play the entire outfield. So why do we need a guy who can do all of those, but none well? Clark will be much more lasting and consistent, I feel, and that's why I want him to make the team.
It's a travel day for me, back down to New Jersey for a bit and then back to Quinnipiac tonight. I'll be back with a recap of the day and the finalized roster moves tonight. Enjoy your last day before the season begins!