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Mets Final Roster Set

Mike SteffanosSaturday, April 1, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

The Mets made their final roster moves yesterday. They sent pitchers Jose Lima, Darren Oliver, Yusaku Iriki and Heath Bell to the minor-league camp -- apparently, there is still some question whether Darren Oliver and Jose Lima will accept the minor league assignments. Earlier this week, Lima indicated he wouldn't report to Norfolk, but he seems to have relented. Oliver has maintained that he will retire again rather than pitch in the minors.

Provided Victor Zambrano really does avoid going on the DL, the Mets 25-man roster looks like this:

Starting Pitching: Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Victor Zambrano, Brian Bannister

Bullpen: Billy Wagner (LH, closer), Aaron Heilman (RH), Duaner Sanchez (RH), Chad Bradford (RH), Jorge Julio (RH), Pedro Feliciano (LH)

Starters: (C) Paul Lo Duca, (1B) Carlos Delgado, (2B) Anderson Hernandez, (SS) Jose Reyes, (3B) David Wright, (LF) Cliff Floyd, (CF) Carlos Beltran, (RF) Xavier Nady

Bench: Catcher: Ramon Castro (R); Infielders: Chris Woodward (R), Julio Franco (R), Jose Valentin (L); Outfielders: Endy Chavez (L), Victor Diaz (R)

Kaz Matsui will start the year on the DL. When he comes back, someone will have to go. At some point the Mets might decide they need a seventh bullpen arm, which would necessitate another move. I would think that Victor Diaz and Jose Valentin would be two players most likely to be affected by these moves. Obviously, with minor league options remaining, Diaz would be the first to go.

At Mets.com, Marty Noble lists this as the batting order Willie expects to use most often:

  1. Jose Reyes
  2. Paul Lo Duca
  3. Carlos Beltran
  4. Carlos Delgado
  5. David Wright
  6. Cliff Floyd
  7. Xavier Nady
  8. Anderson Hernandez
  9. Pitcher

New York Times: Final Moves
Ben Shpigel looks at the final roster moves the Mets have made, offering quotes from some of the players affected:

Victor Diaz (On making the team): I was so stressed. Every at-bat's been like the World Series for me.

Victor Zambrano (On his tweaked hamstring): It doesn't hurt that much. We'll see.

Pedro Martinez (On finding a new suitcase in front of his locker: Whew. Guess I made the team.

Shpigel also reports that Jose Lima will accept the assignment to Norfolk.

Newark Star-Ledger: Lima
According to Don Burke, Jose Lima wishes to talk things over with his family before reporting to Norfolk. He has 72 hours to make a decision, and has been promised he would be the first pitcher brought up.

New York Post: Heath Bell
Mark Hale has a quote from Heath Bell, who deserved better than a return to Norfolk after a fine spring:

It's disappointing because I thought this year I was going to make Opening Day. I really didn't think I could have pitched any better. But with [Aaron] Heilman going to the bullpen and you do need a left-hander even though Heilman can get lefty guys out, they're only taking six guys [in the bullpen].

You deserve better. Hang in there, kid...

Daily Mets: SNY on RCN Cable
RCN cable customers will be able to watch the Mets opening day. Congratulations to my new colleague Stuart, who I'm sure will be watching. Check out his blog.

Faith and Fear in Flushing: Got Me, You Bastard
I'm embarrassed to admit that I forgot what day it was and bought this for what possibly was the worst minute of my entire life. Curse you, Greg...

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets
Pro Sports Daily Mets

Comments (3)

On Lima: I think this is great. if Lima can work on his delivery, he is great insurance, plus so is Iriki. Both could be big difference makers.

Considering the competition Bannister performed well.

On Keppinger, I see another challenge but Kepp is not older than Chase Utley (+/-), and is a 300/10HR guy. Add his work ethic and attitude should help.Note Ryan Howard was also 1-1/2 yrs overdue in winning his spot. Delayed by Thome.

looking around the league this is big transition yr. Alot of VERY young teams. I'd like to trade with Pitt to pry away one of their young LHPs, Duke, Maholm, and Snell.

On Matsui; Could he come back as a utility guy, SS/2b? or this xtra time to complete a trade?

I agree with you on Lima and Iriki. I have a feeling we might see both of them again before the end of the year.

I don't think the Mets see Keppinger as a real prospect, Ed. That's not the way they treated him. Maybe he gets a shot with them, he seems like a good kid.

I don't think Matsui will play well off the bench. If he loses his starting job, they might be better off letting him go. No one wants him.

Consider this a set of smelling salts...


Thanks for playing. We'll be truthy for the next 364 days.

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