Before we get started, MetsJunkies.com would love to welcome and introduce to you our newest contributor, Samantha Luciano. She’s a passionate fan and terrific writer, we’re extremely glad to have her on the wolf-pack.
– Pete Alonso or Dom Smith is your opening day first baseman?
Samantha Luciano: I think Pete Alonso & Dom Smith should platoon. They’re both showing how good they are.
Corné Hogeveen: This is a hard question. The only reason you can’t go with Alonso is the extra service time and the Mets have a decent first baseman as their alternative. That was the case with Frazier, but he is hurt. And do we believe enough in Dom Smith his spring? I’m actually still in between about this one, but leaning towards Alonso. Why? Because we really haven’t seen a lot power from Dom. While getting singles and getting on base is really good. How substainable is it that Dom would hit like he is doing now? To me Alonso will always have the MLB power tool even when he is struggling. If Dom struggles, he doesn’t bring you a whole lot. Mets are a “win now” team, the first 2 weeks of games are just as important as the last 2.
Andrew: My guess is Pete Alonso will be the opening day first basemen. He’s having a terrific spring and looks like he’s major league ready. I wouldn’t be upset though if they do a Kris Bryant thing and have him start in Syracuse for a week or so and then call him up and have Dom Smith play first. Either way I’ll be happy.
David Weiss: I think the smartest thing for the Mets to do is keep Alonso in AAA to start the season and gain an extra year of team control. Smith has been playing well this spring and deserves a shot.
– Most positve surprise this spring?
Samantha Luciano: Jason Vargas is definitely a positive surprise to see this spring.
Corné Hogeveen: No I’m not going with Jason Vargas. He would deserve it, but I’m not that surprised that the craftsman is pitching well. I’m most surprised with Corey Oswalt. Oswalt was really hittable last season. He has increased his velo, which makes his stuff more powerful. We will definitely need Oswalt at some point, so a promising spring is very encouraging.
Andrew: I’m inclined to say Dom Smith but I’m actually going to go with Rajai Davis. He’s hit the ball well, and looks good in the field. Looks like he hasn’t lost any speed which is great figuring the Mets haven’t really had a stolen base threat in a long time.
David Weiss: Dom Smith, no questions asked. He went from being hated to a guy fans are excited to see. He slimmed down and even improved on his sleep quality.
– Most negative surprise this spring?
Samantha Luciano: Seeing how hitters have been finding out about Jacob deGrom.
Corné Hogeveen: Had high hopes for Kyle Dowdy, but the Rule 5 pick has been inconsistent. We have seen why the Mets picked him as Dowdy shows decent stuff and potential. But his control in and out the zone has been proven inconsistent.
Andrew: For me it’s Kyle Dowdy. Both Brodie and Mickey talked about what great stuff he has and he does but the control has been awful. Really had high hopes for him being a Rule 5 pick.
David Weiss: I never get too disappointed with bad performances in spring. However, some of the back end of the bullpen buys are not looking too good. Jacob Rhame, Tyler Bashlor, Drew Gagnon, Walker Lockett and Daniel Zamora have a lot to prove and haven’t looked sharp.
– Opening day third baseman is?
Samantha Luciano: Opening day third baseman is J.D. Davis.
Corné Hogeveen: Jeff McNeil. McNeil will be moved back to the infield until Frazier or Lowrie come back. Mets will play Broxton or Lagares in CF until McNeil moves back to playing more LF. Frazier and Lowrie are getting their baseball activities started so hopefully they are back rather soon.
Andrew: I’ll go with Jeff McNeil. Sounds like Lowrie won’t be ready to go and maybe Frazier as well. Jeff is now starting to get reps at third base and that leads me to believe that the organization feels as though Jed and Todd won’t be ready come March 28th.
David Weiss: Jeff McNeil. Even had Frazier and Lowrie been healthy, one could make the case that McNeil is the best option.
– 8 man bullpen or 5 man bench?
Samantha Luciano: Hm. That’s tough. 8 man bullpen.
Corné Hogeveen: Never been a fan of a NL team having a 4 man bench. Until there is no DH, you need a 5 man bench. Especially with the Mets having multiple inning relievers in their 7 man pen.
Andrew: I think for the first week or so we’ll see a 5 man bench. That way you can keep both Smith and Alonso on the 25 man roster. My bench would be Smith, Davis, Broxton, d’Arnaud, and Guillorme. I really think you can argue Guillorme should open the season with the Mets. He’s hit over .400 and can play both middle infield positions.
David Weiss: 5 man bench to start the season. In the first 12 days of the season, they are only playing 9 games. The bullpen should be well rested.
– Gimenez or Rosario future shortstop?
Samantha Luciano: Definitely Rosario. He’s definitely shown that he can be an All Star shortstop.
Corné Hogeveen: Gimenez at shortstop, Rosario moves to CF. Rosario hasn’t shown good defensive metrics last year and has the tools to play a very good CF. Rosario is fast and has a strong arm and athletic enough to make a move like that, if needed. I also find Gimenez much more softhanded and smoother than Rosario.
Andrew: It’s funny because Corné and I were talking about this earlier. For now I’ll go with Rosario. I think you can move Gimenez to 2B or maybe even 3B. It’s an interesting topic to discuss especially when guys like Mauricio, Vientos, and Newton creep closer to being Major League ready.
David Weiss: Rosario for now. Gimenez should spend this season learning second or third. Third base is a question mark in the long run. Also, while Cano is currently the everyday second baseman, he likely won’t be in 2-3 seasons.