Mets Opening Day 2013 25-man Roster

Buona Pasqua!

Here they are, your 2013 New York Mets (for now):

Starting Pitchers
Jonathon Niese
Matt Harvey
Shaun Marcum (DL)
Dillon Gee
Jeremy Hefner

Bobby Parnell
Brandon Lyon
LaTroy Hawkins
Scott Atchison
Josh Edgin
Scott Rice
Greg Burke?
Jeurys Familia?

John Buck
Anthony Recker

Ike Davis
Daniel Murphy
Ruben Tejada
David Wright

Collin Cowgill
Marlon Byrd
Lucas Duda
Mike Baxter
Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Jordany Valdespin
Justin Turner or Zach Lutz


Scott Rice makes his first Opening Day roster after 14 years in the minors. He slots in as the alternate LOOGY to Josh Edgin.

In the event Shaun Marcum begins the season on the disabled list, it’s assumed that either Collin McHugh or Aaron Laffey take his spot on the roster and in the rotation.

In the event Jeremy Hefner allows 5 homeruns per start, there is no backup plan. The hope is that the wind blows in until May, when it makes better financial sense to promote Zack Wheeler should have enough AAA seasoning.

I’ve heard somewhere that Jeurys Familia has made the club, though I’ve also heard that Greg Burke made the club, and if both have made it, I’m not sure how they’re both going to fit after Marcum is activated from the DL for his first start (presumably April 7).

I was slightly surprised that the Mets groomed Familia for the bullpen from the outset of spring training. Although he looks to me like his ceiling is as a middle reliever, it seems early to give up on the 23-year-old’s potential as a starter. For the Mets, 28 AAA starts in 2012 were enough to convince them that Familia’s ultimate big-league role is in the bullpen. With Jenrry Mejia suffering more elbow pain and out until at least mid-May, the Mets might’ve considered stretching out Familia as a starter again, but it seems they’re intent on keeping him in the ‘pen. Then again, Las Vegas may already have a full rotation. Familia struck out 13 in 13 innings this spring, but also walked 8.

To me, Burke wasn’t especially impressive. His sidearm motion looks awkward, but not the kind of awkward that would fool hitters — awkward as in lacking control of his body and the baseball. He reminds me very much of Sean Green — not “under” enough to be truly different / unusual for a batter, not enough velocity to scare anyone, not enough sink to be a groundball machine, and no “out” pitch for swings and misses.

It didn’t surprise me that Robert Carson was demoted to AAA. As much as I really want to like him, he’s yet to show me anything to suggest he can retire MLB hitters consistently. His 13-inning audition last year in the bigs was uneven, and he didn’t show anything particularly devastating — his stuff looks ordinary. This spring, he looked very hittable — and he allowed a startling 5 homers in 12 IP. Granted, it’s Florida, and the wind often blows out, but it looked to me like he was regularly leaving pitches over the middle of the plate, begging to be swatted.

Brandon Lyon wasn’t particularly impressive, either (14 hits in 9 IP), but he was the only free-agent given a MLB contract, so he goes north. It’s quite possible, that with his job secure, he merely was working on things.

It’s assumed that Justin Turner makes the club if he’s healthy; if not, Lutz is there.

That’s it – any comments?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Englishman in Amsterdam March 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    Once you get past David Wright, that is the most bare bones a team you could put out. Is this the true test of VORP, is Sandy just conducting scientific experiments relating to sabermetrics?

    This I think is probably a sound move financially, I just worry if it’s going to lead anywhere. I can take losing badly as long as it’s losing badly this year with a purpose or goal in mind for next year and the future. I’m yet to see one – that doesn’t mean it isn’t there of course but, man. It’s going to be a long season.

  2. Craig Roth March 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    This sucks another year of suffering! SA didn’t do anything
    to help the mets have a good year(80-90wins) He traded a
    Cy young winner for 2 prospects and Buck, don’t get me
    wrong I can’t wait for Travis D and Wheeler to come up but
    all I’m saying is SA could have tryed to improve the club
    for 2013 instead of writing it off!! iF Wheeler & Travis D
    had started this season with the mets they might at least
    been able to compete and have a better year like 500 but
    with them both not coming up till the service time issue
    is full filled it will be to late for 2013 but 2014 with Travis D
    and Wheeler and maybe Montero and Fulmer from the
    start of the season should be a much better year!
  3. TexasGusCC March 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    Happy Easter to you all!

    I agree with the three opinions already stated because as I look at the roster and wonder how far away this team is from being a prominent contender, I notice:
    – the starting pitching is one reliable starter away (allowing for Wheeler to fill the other spot);
    – the bullpen has some arms that were reliable in the past, but I would think the back end can use some help;
    – the infield is ok, especially with d’Arnaud;
    – the outfield is a disappointment. It lacks athleticism and promise. Duda needs to hit 35-40 HRs to make up for his defense and Byrd never had power or speed, but does play above average defense. Does he however belong on a team of 25-27 year olds? Do they think they will trade him for Castellanos in July? Valdespin is not as good a fielder as Byrd, but we need to see what he can do. Nieuwenhuis and Baxter are the same type of player and Cowgill seems like a good complement from the right side.

    This team is not “a couple of guys away”, as we are told. It is Wheeler, d’Arnaud, and four more guys away. Assuming someone from the outfield shows themselves to be starting MLB level, they need two more outfielders (one of them a stud), a back-end bullpen guy, and a reliable starting pitcher. That seems to me as quite a bit of work to be done. Sandy and his staff need to get to work.

    Folks, I hope our team gives us all some success to enjoy this year.

    • Joe April 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm
      Niese, Harvey, Gee, Wheeler and Hefner (a perfectly adequate 5th starter on many a team) is a pretty good starting five. The IF with the new catcher is pretty good too. I’m game for another arm or two (including a closer) in the pen. Yes, they need “a stud” in the OF and another bat.

      They will have around 40M to get such people plus if they want (and he shows evidence of worth) trade Duda (and maybe others) to get such people. Work to be done, but the team should be a real WC contender if things go their way in ’14. The Nats have the division for a few years if they stay as they are.

  4. Frank March 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    I’m sorry guys but this team is Wright, Davis, Neise, Harvey & Parnell. The other 20 shouldnt be on anybodys team. If we want changes & a good team in the future we need 100 losses this year & a very empty stadium to either wake the Wilpons up or convince them to sell the team. 75-80 wins will keep them mediocre forever.
  5. Dan B March 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm
    I am sad to predict 71-91 for this year’s Mets (and only because they play the Marlins so many times). Last year, the best two starting pitchers in the NL both played for the Mets. Obviously, R.A. Dickey was one of them. Whoever started the game after Dickey was the other one. So great was the Dickey hangover that starting pitchers in the next game had a lower era then Dickey. Before we congratulate Neese for taking the next step, look at his numbers after Dickey and all other starts. He looks more like the #4 starter he was in 2011. Gus, you say we are one reliable starter away after Wheeler gets here. I disagree — we are one ace away. Expecting Harvey and Wheeler to be #2 and #3 is asking a lot for prospects. I don’t think it is realistic to ask them to be Halladay/Dickey/Strasburg good. As for the bullpen, one mediocre closer would of helped a lot to shift everyone down one spot. Oh well.
    The Mets offense was bad last year. It will be worse. The third best offensive player was Hairston He was replaced with Byrd. Ugh. The Mets should get more out of the catcher spot, but not significantly more. Not yet. Last year Tejada was good in the first half, not so good in the second half, terrible in this spring training. I would not be surprised if he is in the minors sometime this year. I think Wright might of seen more bases loaded opportunities during the WBC then he will all year — the top of the order is that bad. He certainly will have seen more hittable pitches in RBI situations in the WBC then he will during the season. But that is good news for Ike Davies who is further from desert fever. This might be a big RBI year for Davies with Wright being league leader in walks.
    I don’t see the Mets adding major league talent during the year. If anything, I hope they trade away players like Buck, Hawkins, and Marcum (if he is active).
    That said, I am still excited because I do wanna watch Harvey and Wheeler and d`Arnaud and Wright and I hope the others all live up to the flashes of greatness they showed in the first half of last year. Hey, it’s baseball — you never know.
    • James March 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm
      some very insightful comments. knuckelballers can’t be replaced. Santana can’t be replaced. Hairston is difficult to replace. Other guys are injury prone; the entire infield has had recent injury issues though Davis seems to have healed. 72-74 wins is what I would predict, only bec I think Harvey and Wheeler will be the best young duo on the team since Gooden and Darling or Seaver and Kooz. If wright or murphy or tejada are injured, I would predict 68 wins.
    • DaveSchneck March 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm
      Excellent point about the Dickey effect on the opponent. 71-72 wins is unfortunately the range. 60s are much more likely than 81. But, as you say, it’s baseball, and starting tomorrow I will root for the unlikely, despite the lame ownership and weak GM performance.
  6. joel london March 31, 2013 at 7:55 pm
    keep lutz familia no newenheis.keepflores
  7. The King March 31, 2013 at 8:52 pm
    Pretty decent AAA team. Abandon hope . . . .
  8. NormE March 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm
    As I look at the roster and agree with most of the other commenters, one thought that I cannot banish is that the Mets (Wilpon/Alderson) failed to trade Jose Reyes for a package that would enhance the future of this team.
    I can understand the deals involving Beltran and Dickey. But, to let a vital cog like Jose walk away with nothing but a
    future draft pick is unforgivable.
    • TexasGusCC March 31, 2013 at 11:37 pm
      The Reds were dying for Jose Reyes. They felt that he would guarantee them a title because they didn’t have a leadoff hitter or a good SS. It was perfect. However, Jefferey wanted to sell tickets and if the NL batting leader left, how would they sell tickets? Can’t blame him there, he was right. The Mets could have gotten Billy Hamilton and who knows what, but…

      Right there I knew they didn’t give a hoot about winning. I agreed with their two trades. Many people say that they gave up on their season by trading Beltran, but they weren’t ready to win a world series and that’s the goal. The two trades brought youth and talent, but one more would have given us a leadoff hitter/centerfielder and maybe a right fielder in Todd Frazier.

      • argonbunnies April 2, 2013 at 1:21 am
        In hindsight, yeah, the Reds would have been a perfect fit for Jose. However, at the 2011 trade deadline, the Reds were 4th in their division, 11 games out in the wild card, and still thought Hamilton could stick at SS. So there are reasons why this is the first I’m hearing that “the Reds were dying for Jose Reyes”.

        That said, the Mets definitely should have traded him to someone

  9. friend March 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    “Buona Pasqua!”

    Molto Gratzie!

  10. argonbunnies April 2, 2013 at 1:14 am
    Not a fan of this roster. Way too many young guys who haven’t yet proven they can’t play are riding the pine. Kirk and Valdespin should be getting 4 ABs every day in AAA in case one of them can find what it takes to be an MLB regular. Having them ride the Mets’ bench achieves nothing except maybe helping the 2013 Mets miss the playoffs by 12 games instead of 13.

    Perhaps the Mets have evaluated their talent correctly, and Familia’s a reliever, and Valdespin and Nieuwenhuis are bench guys. That at least wouldn’t be a failure of management to stick to a plan; it’d only be a failure of our system to develop good players. Sigh…