As Mets fans get ready to leave Shea Stadium and embark on a new adventure at Citi Field, questions are already circulating.
What will the opening day lineup will look like?
I have come to help calm those fears.
The big story this off-season has been pitching.
Omar Minaya locked up two of the top five closers in baseball and re-signed fan favorite Oliver Perez. All parties involved hope that this puts this club over the top in the N.L. East.
Turning focus to the starting lineup.
The Mets will open the season on April 6 in Cincinnati.
Although this will not be the opening of Citi Field, the club will be looking at a strong, unchanged lineup from 2008.
It would surprise me if Jerry Manuel submits a lineup that looks different from the 2008 season during the beginning of 2009.
It is going to be up to players to have bounce back years, continue to grow or show us something special.
- Jose Reyes, SS
- Lewis Castillo, 2B
- David Wright, 3B
- Carlos Beltran, CF
- Carlos Delgado, 1B
- Ryan Church, RF
- Daniel Murphy, LF
- Brian Schneider, C
I will give another report outlining the starting rotation and bullpen in the coming days.
There are a number of things that could affect this projected lineup.
As of now it is clear that a platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis is likely, but if either player excels in Spring Training look for that player to dominate the position early on.
There are a lot of talks about the Mets moving Lewis Castillo.
Similar to Aaron Heilman, Castillo needs to get out of the New York and try his luck somewhere else.
The only way I see Castillo not in the lineup on opening day is if somehow Omar brings in Orlando Hudson.
You have to be optimistic as a Mets fan going into the season.
The Phillies won the division by less than two games in 2008, with the Mets bullpen blowing over 25 saves.
Given the vast improvement to the bullpen I can see no reason that the New York Mets shouldn't walk away with the division this year.