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Usually, a major league bench includes a backup catcher, a corner infielder, a middle infielder and two outfielders.
Here is what the Mets bench could look like.
- Anthony Recker C
- Justin Turner IF
- Omar Quintanilla 2B/SS
- Mike Baxter
- Collin Cowgill OF
Assuming Travis d'Arnaud starts the year in the minor leagues, Anthony Recker will likely be John Buck's backup. Once d'Arnaud gets called up though, Recker will almost certainly get sent down to the minor leagues.
Justin Turner should once again be one of the backup infielders, especially because he can play all four infield positions. Turner has also been a good pinch-hitter thus far in his career.
As for the other infield spot, Omar Quintanilla could be viewed as a dark-horse candidate, but during his brief stint with the Mets, Quintanilla hit relatively well with 18 hits in 70 at-bats.
He could also be a successful left-handed pinch-hitter for the team. In addition, he is likely to make a bigger impact with the Mets than Brandon Hicks or Zach Lutz, the two people he will probably compete against for the roster spot.
Unless he becomes an everyday starter, Mike Baxter will be one of the backup outfielders for the Mets. Despite not being signed to a major league contract, Marlon Byrd will be competing for a starting outfield spot, and with his vast major league experience compared to Baxter, Byrd should be the favorite to become the Mets' right fielder. The possibility of Baxter and Byrd platooning together could occur as well.
The Mets acquired another outfielder in Cowgill to give themselves a right-handed bat in the outfield. Cowgill can play all three outfield positions and has a career .298 MLB average against left-handed pitching. Thus, Terry Collins could platoon Cowgill with any of his left-handed hitting outfielders if one of them starts to struggle against southpaws in particular.
Other outfielders who will be competing for backup spots on the roster include Jordany Valdespin and Andrew Brown. Outfield prospects Matt den Dekker, Cesar Puello and Juan Lagares will all be in the mix as well. However, Puello and Lagares in particular are simply not ready for the major leagues just yet.