After I got to see 4 days of Spring Training last week, I promised you guys a glimpse into who I thought was going to make the team on opening day. Without further ado, here it is:
Thole and Nickeas (covering for Paulino only for his 8 game suspension, maybe more if he doesn't get into camp soon secondary to visa issues)
Davis, Emaus (starting 2nd baseman), Castillo, Reyes, Hu (back-up SS), Wright
Bay, Beltran, Pagan, Hairston (reserve OF)
N Evans (1st/3rd/corner OF)
Pelfrey (#1), Niese (#2) Dickey (#3), Capuano (#4), Young (#5), F Rodriguez (closer), B Parnell (8th), Beato (5th/6th), Buchholz (6th/7th), Carrasco (multiple innings), Tankersley (LOOGY), Isringhausen (7th/8th)
Guys in italics are non-roster invites. Both rule 5 drafts will make the team in my opinion, and the big question mark is the last roster spot for the offense. I put N Evans in the lead right now, as he is out of options and would certainly be picked up off waivers. W Harris made a big splash in the 1st spring training game, and he would be my first outside looking in on that last roster spot. Notice D Murphy is not on the roster, as I'd rather him go down to AAA and continue to improve on his defense (if possible), versus being strictly a pinch hitter, and I think N Evans is a better hitter than Murphy .
As far as the pitching staff, I prefer Tankersley to both Brydak and O'Connor for the lefty out of the pen, and if Isringhausen doesn't get hurt in the next 5 weeks, then I envision him making the team and could be a 7th/8th inning guy. If there is an injury, M Acosta is the next in line. No, I do not see Oliver Perez making the team unless something drastically changes.
What do you guys think for those last few roster spots? Does Terry Collins have a bunch of tough decisions to make?