Thursday, February 12, 2009

Next Year Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day many of us have been waiting for since last September, next year is finally here. Although players have been gathering at Tradition field for almost two weeks now, tomorrow is the official report date for pitchers and catchers. Jerry Manuel will also be making his first appearance of the spring.

The start of spring training also marks the transition away from the hot stove season into starting to see our team take shape. Besides Billy Wagner the entire roster is relatively healthy, some off season surgeries, but everyone should be ready to go on day one.

As we discussed yesterday the Mets rotation 1 through 4 are set. Johan Santana is obviously the ace of the staff. John Maine will most likely be the number two based on his seniority over Mike Pelfrey, but either of the two could easily fill the second spot in the rotation. Oliver Perez will pitch third and then the other of Pelfrey/Maine will be the 4, therefore alternating lefties and righties.

As we addressed the other day the last spot in the rotation is rotation is up for grabs, with Freddy Garcia and Tim Redding the more likely candidates, Jonathon Niese being the dark horse. Unlike years past the Mets will need to break camp with a fifth starter in place as they’ll be playing five consecutive games in the first week.

It will also be interesting to see what Jerry’s plans are for the first two weeks of the season, if he wants Santana to open up at the Reds on April 6th, or if he’ll put him in the second spot in the rotation so that he pitches the home opener and throws the first pitch at Citi Field.

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