All of us in the BlogsByFans network are providing a pre-season rundown of our teams. Here is a digest of Mets Spring Training 2008 info for all. Stay tuned to the BlogsByFans Network for some big news regarding Spring Training 2008:
METS SPRING TRAINING 2008
Location: Tradition Field – Port St. Lucie
Pitchers and Catchers Report: Feb. 15th
First Game: Feb. 27th vs Detroit
First Game at Tradition Field – Feb 29th vs. STL (on SNY)
Projected Opening Day Lineup
- Jose Reyes (SS)
- Luis Castillo (2B)
- Carlos Beltran (CF)
- David Wright (3B)
- Carlos Delgado (1B)
- Moises Alou (LF)
- Ryan Church (RF)
- Brian Schneider (C)
- Johan Santana
- Pedro Martinez
- John Maine
- Oliver Perez
- El Duque
Situational: Scott Schoeneweis, Joe Smith, Jorge Sosa8th Inning:
Aaron Heilman, Duaner SanchezCloser:
Key Battles: Any battles this spring training are for backup and bullpen spots. The Mets starting lineup is essentially set.
One popular rumor this off-season is that Olrando Hernandez may move to the bullpen if the Mets secure another starter. Amongst the free agents, Livan Hernandez has been talked about alot, as has Kyle Lohse. This was all BS (Before Santana). I'd like to see Hernandez go to the bullpen and give the starter's spot to Pelfrey. We need El Duque to stay healthy for August and September and Pelfrey will only get better with more exposure to the major leagues.
One thing Omar does well is sign lots of arms for spring training tryouts. Most don't work out (Chan Ho Park) but some guys linger. This year, Matt Wise, Steven Register, Ruddy Lugo, Ambiorix Burgos and more will be competing to get in the bullpen. Only Wagner, Heilman and Sanchez (maybe Schoeneweis) are guaranteed spots. Sanchez is coming off an injury and just started throwing again recently.
There are plenty of candidates to fill out the roster. Chavez is a shoe-in as 4th outfielder and if Anderson and Easley are healthy, they have an edge over other competition.
What to expect: Obviously, the buzz will be all about Johan. We'll see how he handles the hype now that he has escaped the frozen lakes of Minnesota. In no particular order, here are some other thoughts on things to look for:
- Pedro watch. Pedro Martinez is a great pitcher and character, no doubt. But he loves to be the big fish. How will he handle sharing the spotlight with the new arm in town?
- Delgado watch. Carlos had an abysmal 2007. He has got to show up healthy and silence the critics…as well as placate management. Willie knows he can't just pencil Delgado in every day and take his chances.
- New guy watch. Church and Schneider. How will they fit in? Church is a born-again Christian whose comments angered alot of Nationals fans (especially the Jewish ones, since he basically said they were all going to hell). Schneider doesn't have that baggage but he needs to get in sync with the new pitching staff.
- Reyes watch. Jose broke down the last month of 2007. He looked bad at the plate and generally out of sorts. Most Met fans blame Rickey Henderson. Rickey's gone. Lets see the old Jose show up.