Mets 30-man roster prediction for shortened 2020 MLB season

Danny Abriano
SNY

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When the 60-game 2020 MLB season begins, active rosters will be increased from 26 players to 30 at the start due in part to the unique set of circumstances the sport will be dealing with amid the coronavirus pandemic after a shortened second spring training.

The Mets (like the rest of the National League) will be accounting for the presence of the universal DH, and will also be able to include some players whose presence on the roster was questionable at best back in March due to injury issues.

With spring training part two lasting only three weeks, it's fair to believe that most teams will carry more pitchers than the customary 12 or 13 because starting pitchers won't be as stretched out as usual and some relievers might not be as able as usual to pitch back-to-back games.

When the Mets take the field on Opening Day, here's how things could look...

Regular Lineup

Wilson Ramos, C
Pete Alonso, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Amed Rosario, SS
Jeff McNeil, 3B
J.D. Davis, LF
Brandon Nimmo, CF
Michael Conforto, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH







With the regular season being delayed roughly four months, Conforto will be ready to go and the Mets' lineup will be whole.

And with the universal DH being implemented, Cespedes -- who was taking fly balls in the outfield and was close to running the bases at full speed when spring training was suspended in March -- should be able to serve as the regular DH.

With the extra roster spots and DH, the Mets have lots of different lineup configurations they can use, including putting Davis at DH, sliding Nimmo to a corner outfield spot, and using defensive whiz Jake Marisnick in center field. But the above lineup should be the one that is used most of the time.

Starting Rotation

Jacob deGrom, RHP
Marcus Stroman, RHP
Steven Matz, LHP
Rick Porcello, RHP
Michael Wacha, RHP



Before Noah Syndergaard was lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery, the question was which pitcher the Mets would have to shift to the bullpen (it should've been Wacha).

Now, the Mets simply have five starting pitchers for five spots.

In a 60-game season, each pitcher will be on track to start 12 games, which could make for some strange end-of-season stats and maybe a three-peat Cy Young feat for deGrom.

Bullpen

Edwin Diaz, RHP
Dellin Betances, RHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Justin Wilson, LHP
Seth Lugo, RHP
Robert Gsellman, RHP
Brad Brach, RHP
Daniel Zamora, LHP
Tyler Bashlor, RHP
Walker Lockett, RHP








The first seven pitchers listed above were locks to make the roster back when it was expected to be 26 players.

The last three pitchers listed above are ones who fill specific needs and also happen to be on the 40-man roster.

Zamora gives the Mets a second left-hander, Bashlor gives them a hard thrower who showed glimpses in 2018 but struggled in 2019, and Lockett gives them someone who can be a long reliever and/or slide in for a spot start if needed.

It wouldn't be shocking if the Mets did something a bit outside the box and carried a top prospect like Ryley Gilliam or David Peterson (with there likely not being a minor league season), but the safe bet is that New York will go with pitchers who already have big league experience.

Bench

Dominic Smith, 1B/OF
Jake Marisnick, OF
Luis Guillorme, INF
Tomas Nido, C
Rene Rivera, C
Andres Gimenez, INF




Smith, Marisnick, and Guillorme were all locks for the bench before the active roster went from 26 to 30, and the addition of the universal DH will allow the Mets to remove Cespedes from what would've been a bench role.

The result is the Mets carrying both Nido and Rivera so they have three catchers, and adding Gimenez as a pinch-runner and backup infielder.

Gimenez, 21, would've started 2020 with Double-A Binghamton or Triple-A Syracuse if this was a normal season. And his bat isn't ready for the majors yet. But his above average glove is ready, and his speed (arguably a more valuable asset to the 2020 Mets than his glove) could be a huge weapon -- especially in extra innings.

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