Odds for Each New York Met on the Roster Bubble of Making the Final 25 Man Cut

Sean Cunningham@@SS_CunninghamContributor IIFebruary 12, 2014

Odds for Each New York Met on the Roster Bubble of Making the Final 25 Man Cut

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    The New York Mets currently have numerous players vying for a chance to make the team who will need to prove their worth in the coming weeks if they want to make the cut. The players on the Mets’ roster bubble are composed of pitchers trying to win the No. 5 starter competition, earn a place in the bullpen or are outfielders trying to earn a spot on the bench.

    There are a number of prospects who could make the Opening Day roster, but they are not included on this list, as I have previously written about their chances of making the team. You can read about the chances of the Mets’ top prospects such as Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores and Jacob deGrom making the Opening Day roster here, and you can read about the team’s dark-horse prospects who could make the team here.

    The competition to make the roster should be fierce throughout spring training, as each of these players on the bubble has a legitimate chance of making the cut.


    All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs.

Jenrry Mejia

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    Jenrry Mejia propelled himself into the minds of fans last summer with his exceptional performance, and if healthy should be the favorite to become the Mets’ No. 5 starter.

    However, Mejia winning the No. 5 starter competition is far from a sure thing.  Beyond his injury history, Mejia has had an inconsistent career in the minors. Even when he was one of the team's prospects before his setbacks, he had command issues that could hold him back as a starter. The Mets may prefer to have a veteran rather than the riskier but higher upside Mejia at the back of their rotation. 

    Despite this, the Mets and their fans should be excited about the prospect watching Mejia potentially dominate every fifth day.

    Odds: 1:4, 80 percent.

John Lannan

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    John Lannan is a solid insurance option for the Mets at the back of their rotation, and could beat out Mejia for the No. 5 starter spot.

    The Mets would love Mejia to prove he’s healthy and ready to be in a big league rotation, but if he fails to do so, Lannan is in prime position to win that job.

    The Long Beach native could also make the team as a long reliever, playing the same role that Darren Oliver did out of the bullpen in 2006.

    Lannan and the other veteran starters brought into camp are at a disadvantage at making the roster because of Mejia, but are the primary options if Mejia falters in any way.

    Odds: 7:3, 30 percent.

Daisuke Matsuzaka

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    Just like Lannan, Daisuke Matsuzaka’s best chance at making the 25-man roster will be if Mejia struggles or has an injury setback.

    If everything goes smoothly with Mejia, Matsuzaka and Lannan will be competing for the primary veteran starter in Triple-A and the first to be called up if somebody goes down at the big league level.

    Matsuzaka has a slight edge over Lannan because he pitched in New York last September. While he didn’t perform terribly for the Mets with a 4.42 ERA in seven starts, Matsuzaka was brutal to watch. The Japanese righty pitches at an abominably slow pace and nibbles at the edges of the plate, making every game he starts a marathon and less enjoyable to watch.

    While Matsuzaka and Lannan provide the Mets with nice organizational pitching depth, fans should hope for Mejia to have a successful and healthy spring. Both veteran righties could also be beaten out by the 25-year old Jacob deGrom, but the veterans should have an edge heading into camp.

    Odds: 7:3, 30 percent.

Carlos Torres

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    Carlos Torres was an invaluable piece of the Mets’ pitching staff last season, acting as an effective spot-starter and key component of the team’s bullpen.

    Based on Torres’ performance at the big league level in 2013 he deserves a roster spot. However, there’s a solid chance that last year was a fluke. Prior to last season, Torres’ best career ERA at the major league level was 5.26. Last year was by far his most successful season, but the fact that it occurred at age 30 indicates that he could regress back to the mean.

    If Torres pitches poorly in spring training, he could be beaten out for the long reliever spot by either Matsuzaka or Lannan. However, the job is still Torres’ to win, and if he pitches well he should earn his spot back on the 25-man roster.

    Odds: 1:3, 75 percent.

Vic Black

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    Vic Black, one of the pieces acquired for Marlon Byrd last August, should be a favorite to make the Mets bullpen out of spring training.

    While Black has little major league experience, he will turn 26 in May and has a dominant track record in the upper minors. Last season he dominated for the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate and held his own after getting a September call-up. He had a 2.51 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 46.2 innings in Triple-A, and pitched to a 3.71 ERA between the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Black relies on his overpowering fastball that sits in the upper-90s and a power slider. He has the stuff to become a factor at the end of games out of the bullpen, but will need to improve his command if he wants to stick around in the big leagues long term.

    Odds: 1:4, 80 percent.

Jeurys Familia

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    Jeurys Familia has been a name to watch in the Mets system for a couple years now, as he moved up the Mets system as a starter alongside Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

    However, control issues and injuries have held Familia back, and it is now clear his future lies in the bullpen. That could work to the Mets benefit, as Familia has overpowering stuff that could be dominant in short-inning spurts.

    Baseball Prospectus’ Jeff More answered a question about Familia in a chat this offseason, and gave a positive review of Familia’s performance this winter:

    I've heard reports of serious velocity from him this winter, which is fantastic news. If he's healthy, he should be consistent enough to be a reliever. Hopefully the Mets will just let him be a reliever instead of trying to force him back as a starter and creating another Jennry Mejia fiasco.

    If Familia struggles with his command this spring, he will likely be sent to Triple-A to work on his delivery and consistency. However, with the Mets in dire need of bullpen arms, a healthy Familia stands a good chance at making the Mets’ 25-man roster.

    Odds: 2:3, 60 percent.

Gonzalez Germen

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    Gonzalez Germen was an effective reliever for the Mets in 2013, but he could lose his roster spot if he performs poorly in spring training.

    While Germen was solid last season, he was far from exceptional. In 34.1 innings, he pitched to a 3.93 ERA but a concerning 1.398 WHIP. While he didn’t give up many runs, he needs to cut down on how many base runners he allows if he wants to remain successful.

    Also, Germen doesn’t have the best track record of success in the minor leagues. Germen didn’t reach High-A St. Lucie until he was 24 years old, and his career ERA in Double-A and Triple-A is an unremarkable 4.85.

    While last season’s performance was intriguing, Germen will need to earn his spot back in the big league bullpen, and if he is outperformed, don’t be surprised to see him start in Triple-A.

    Odds: 1:3, 75 percent.

Wilfredo Tovar

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    Wilfredo Tovar was a surprising September call-up last season who has qualities that could intrigue the Mets to the point where they want him on the 25-man roster.

    The 22-year old Venezuelan shortstop has nearly nonexistent power, but he is a slick fielder who puts the ball in play. Tovar is a plus defensive shortstop, and considering the Mets’ current depth at the position (or lack thereof), he could be an asset to the major league roster.

    Tovar could also represent a better replacement option to current starter Ruben Tejada than the aging Omar Quintanilla. If Tejada struggles both on the field and at the plate like he did last year when he wasn’t hurt, the Mets could slot Tovar into the starting lineup and sacrifice their offense for above-average defense.

    The Mets will likely start Tovar in Triple-A to let him work on his offense, but his defense is major league ready. Tovar could make the roster if the Mets feel he has reached his offensive ceiling, or believe his defense is necessary to the major league roster’s success.

    Odds: 4:1, 20 percent.

Matt den Dekker

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    Matt den Dekker is an outstanding defensive outfielder with pop who should have a long career as a bench player at worst. However, he currently strikes out way too much to be an everyday major leaguer.

    The former Florida Gator provides the Mets with great organizational outfield depth, especially defensively. Den Dekker’s chances are hurt entering spring training because the Mets current starting outfield should be exceptional in the field, and a more offensive oriented player off the bench would provide more value.

    Den Dekker will turn 27, but the Mets would be best suited keeping him in Triple-A to start the season with the hopes he can cut down on his strikeouts. If any of the Mets starting outfielders goes down, he should be on top of the list of potential call-ups, as his defense will be asset off the bench.

    Odds: 3:2, 40 percent.

Andrew Brown

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    Despite hitting only seven home runs last season, Andrew Brown still displayed impressive power that will be valuable to the Mets off of the bench.

    Brown started last season in the minors and when he was called up, he was a home run threat every time he was at the plate. He struggled overall, batting a meager .227, but his power potential coming off the bench had the ability to change games.

    The Mets will have a number of outfielders competing for a spot on the big league bench, but Brown has a slight edge over his competitors. The current starting outfield is comprised of strong defensive outfielders, so the Mets should be looking at a more offensive oriented outfielder for their bench rather than a defensive-minded one, like Matt den Dekker.

    Brown will have to fight for a roster spot, but his value as a right-handed power bat off the bench should give him an edge.

    Odds: 1:3, 75 percent.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

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    Kirk Nieuwenhuis is in a tough position this spring. He is a super athletic outfielder capable of providing plus-defense in every outfield spot while also bringing extra-base power and speed on offense, giving him the tools to be an ideal fourth outfielder.

    Nieuwenhuis has been unable to use his power at the major league level significantly, however, as he struck out at an unacceptable 29.6 percent rate last season.

    He is also hurt by the fact that the Mets have a surplus of outfielders vying for a spot on the 25-man roster. Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. will be competing for a starting spot, while Andrew Brown’s power and Matt den Dekker’s defense are both better than that of Nieuwenhuis.

    Nieuwenhuis’ 2013 struggles along with the other outfielders trying to make the team likely means that he will begin the season in Triple-A.

    Odds: 4:1, 20 percent.

Kyle Farnsworth

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    The recently signed Kyle Farnsworth will turn 38 in April and have to perform in spring training if he wants to make the Mets opening day roster.

    Farnsworth’s bread and butter is his hard fastball-slider combo, which when he’s commanding pitches makes him impossible to hit. However, despite being a veteran, he still struggles with his control on a regular basis.

    Farnsworth had a great season for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, pitching to a 2.38 ERA and 0.988 WHIP in 57.2 innings. Since then, his performance has declined, as he had a 4.70 ERA and 1.383 WHIP in 2013 while pitching for Tampa and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    The big righty was a good signing, as they can cut him with little financial burden if he performs poorly, or they can reap the benefits of his success if he capitalizes on his stuff. If Farnsworth makes the Mets’ Opening Day roster he could be a key figure in their bullpen, but he’ll have to prove that he is still capable of performing at a high level.

    Odds: 1:3, 75 percent.

Jose Valverde

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    This morning the Mets announced via their twitter account that they signed reliever Jose Valverde, who based on his track record and success as a closer should stand a good chance at making the team’s bullpen.

    However, just like Kyle Farnsworth, Valverde’s last dominant season came in 2011, and he has declined since. After recording an ERA of 2.24 for the Detroit Tigers in 2011, he has posted ERA’s of 3.78 and 5.59 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

    Valverde will turn 36 in March and his days as a successful reliever could be over. If he shows in spring training that he still has some juice left in the tank, he could be an intriguing option for the Mets bullpen coming into the season.

    Odds: 1:3, 75 percent.

Ryan Reid

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    Ryan Reid is a career minor leaguer who has finally started to succeed in recent years as a reliever.

    Reid, who has spent his career in the Pirates and Rays’ farm systems, made his major league debut last season as a 28-year old. He performed well in a small sample size, pitching to a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings.

    Reid is undersized, standing at just 5’11” and 210 pounds, but he seems to have figured it out in recent years. Outside of his small sample in the majors, he has been effective out of the bullpen the past two seasons at Triple-A, pitching to a 3.52 ERA in 2012 and 2.73 last year.

    Fans shouldn’t expect too much for Reid, but he is a definite candidate to make the 25-man roster cut.

    Odds: 3:2, 40 percent.

Joel Carreno

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    Joel Carreno is yet another reliever who could find himself in the Mets bullpen come Opening Day, but he has a higher ceiling than some of the other candidates.

    Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote earlier this offseason that he felt Carreno could be the steal of the minor league free agent class: 

    Carreno, who turns 27 in March, throws in the low 90s with a curveball that can help him miss bats, something he did more of in 2013 than ever before, perhaps in part because the Blue Jays made him a full-time reliever for the first time in his career. After striking out 25 percent of batters in his minor league career, Carreno’s strikeout rate jumped to 34 percent last year between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo with a 2.43 composite ERA. Now he’s pitching well for Escogido in the Dominican League.

    If Carreno keeps missing bats and pitching well throughout spring training, the Mets should take advantage of Carreno’s upside. Even if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, expect to see Carreno in Flushing at some point this season.

    Odds: 3:2, 40 percent.


    You can follow Sean on twitter at @S_CunninghamBR.