Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.
Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)
Catcher: Josh Thole - Age 25
First Base: Ike Davis - Age 25
Second Base: Justin Turner - Age 27
Third Base: David Wright - Age 29
Shortstop: Ruben Tejada - Age 22
Left Field: Jason Bay - Age 33
Center Field: Angel Pagan - Age 30
Right Field: Lucas Duda - Age 26
Full batting order, bench, starting rotation and bullpen projections, as well as some of my thoughts, are included below the fold.
1. CF Pagan 2. SS Tejada 3. 3B Wright 4. 1B Davis 5. LF Bay 6. RF Duda 7. C Thole 8. 2B Turner
1. LHP Johan Santana - Age 33
2. RHP Mike Pelfrey - Age 28
3. LHP Jon Niese - Age 25
4. RHP R.A. Dickey - Age 37
5. RHP Dillon Gee - Age 26 (as of 4/28/12)
Closer: RHP Bobby Parnell - Age 27
Some Quick Thoughts
- Pagan is a non-tender candidate, but I expect him to be tendered a contract. He had a disappointing 2011 but he was still a league-average hitter. If you replace UZR with DRS in the calculation of WAR, he's bumped from 0.9 to 2.2 on the year.
- Wright is a trade candidate, although the team doesn't have an obvious replacement in-house. They'd probably just start Murphy at third for a while, but I'm guessing that they'd tried to land some MLB-ready help in any deal.
- They could seek out some middle infield help, although Jose Reyes probably isn't coming back. Tejada is going to fill one of the spots, with shortstop being more likely. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets went after a veteran second baseman, although the market's dwindling following the Aaron Hill and Jamey Carroll signings.
- The team expects Santana to be healthy by spring training, which is obviously a huge deal for the team. He's the only arm on the roster with ace-upside, even if he's highly unlikely to reach it at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets seeked out some pitching depth this winter.